Year Released: 1987

Notable Songs: “Rebel Without a Pause”, “Bring The Noise”, “Don’t Believe The Hype”, “Night of the Living Baseheads”, “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos”

Album MVP: “Black Steel in the Hour of Choas”

Why I Loved It: If Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back isn’t one of the era’s greatest hip-hop album overall, it’s certainly one of, if not the most meaningful. For me, everything about this album is next level shit to me and unlike anything I’d ever heard before—hell, maybe since either. Chuck D just came through on literally every track with brooding inciting lyrics, often dispensed with vehement dander. On the real, til this day “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” is one of the hardest rap songs I’ve ever heard in my life….my life! 

It’s a good thing Donald Trump isn’t privy to “Don’t Believe The Hype”, because he’d be cranking out Public Enemy “False Media we don’t need it do we” inspired tweets.

Public Enemy was/is a rap group that grasped that the music media signifying what was good didn’t matter because their true credibility came from the people listening in the streets. This album was f’n incredible!

Commercial Success: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back was made with far more emphasis on the artistic side than commercial, but it did have some success among the mainstream as well in eventually reaching certified platinum status. It made it to the top of the United States Top Black Albums and made it to No. 42 on the Billboard Top 200, where it stayed on the charts for nearly one full year, 49 weeks to be exact.  “Don’t Believe the Hype” peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop tracks while “Bring the Noise” reached No. 56 and “Night of the Living Baseheads” got up to No. 62.  “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” rounded up the charted singles, appearing at No. 86.

Fun Facts: From Wiki: In 2003, the album was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking of all the hip hop albums on the list, and the only one acknowledged in the top hundred. Music from the album has been sampled by various artists over the years, including (though not limited to) the Beastie Boys (“Egg Man”),[70] Game (“Remedy”),[71] Jay-Z (“Show Me What You Got”),[72] Jurassic 5 (“What’s Golden”),[73] Madonna (“Justify My Love”),[74] and My Bloody Valentine (“Instrumental B”)


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4