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Important Music: A Hip-Hop Album That Made A Difference.

Updated on February 11, 2014

A lot of the time hip-hop gets a bad press, not so much for its music but for the image that seems to tag along. Guns, girls, crack, cars, crime, you get the picture, but if you put all your preconceived thoughts aside and strictly concentrate on the music then hip-hop can do great things.

Although image is a big thing for musicians, especially hip-hop, if you see past the stereotypical baggy jeans, Converse All Stars, heavy gold chains and flat peak new era caps you can get to the core of something quite endearing.

Some hip-hop albums are works of art. It’s a courageous thing to do, for a ‘nobody’ from the street to open up and flood their thoughts onto the beat. Some are inspirational, some challenge the status quo, some explore fantasies whereas other creations just sound good.

It can be tough to find honest and genuine hip-hop music. Sifting through the candy coated productions that the music chart offers will rarely have you enthralled, but luckily for us there are some shining diamonds in the rough. Here is a hip-hop album that you should definitely check out if you haven't done already.

Fear of a Black Planet Album Cover
Fear of a Black Planet Album Cover

PUBLIC ENEMY - Fear of a Black Planet

Release Date:



Columbia Records


Fear of a Black Planet is more of historical document rather than a hip-hop album. It was inspired by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing’s theory of colour confrontation and racism. It mainly concentrated on the thought that “colour’s an issue created and concocted to take advantage of people of various characteristics with the benefit of a few” i.e. the white elite. Welsing’s ideology proved to be the perfect frame for Public Enemy to voice their opinions on similar topics. The title of the album alone presents the idea of white people being afraid of black people.

The album exposed many social issues at the time - most forcefully the issues surrounding African Americans. Track after track highlights the injustice against poverty stricken blacks and how corruption is rife within elitism. The music tackles the state of race relations, institutional racism and white supremacy. It launched it from a hip-hop production into a voice of reasoning.

It takes you on a journey of enlightenment and it helps you understand subjects just like a history book would do. It’s an important album for not just hip-hop but music in general. Rarely does a hip-hop album rank so well across the board but Rolling Stone magazine, The Guardian, The Source and Pitchfork Media all include this album in their countdown of ‘ the greatest albums of all time’. The album picked up various other admirers, from theorists and politicians, to other musicians and journalists. It catapulted outside of its core relationship with hip-hop fans, and became an insightful production for people well outside Public Enemy’s original realm. It’s also said to be a determining factor of why hip-hop music is often associated with political messages and activism.

Fear of a Black Planet Sleeve
Fear of a Black Planet Sleeve

It isn’t only the relentless provocative lyrics that make this such a remarkable album. Its production by The Bomb Squad helped to expand the hip-hop sound to higher heights. They introduced numerous samples, relevant media sound bites, crazy music loops and varying rhythms. It was a sound that revolutionised the makeup of rap production and went onto to inspire many other producers. At the time of its release Public Enemy's main man Chuck D declared “We understood the magnitude of what an album was, so we set out to make something that not only epitomized the standard of an album, but would stand the test of time by being diverse with sounds and textures.” It seems that Chuck’s plan indeed prospered, as the album’s production still gets plaudits in today’s advanced environment.

This highly important concept album is one to look back on in awe of its bravery. It made a massive impact on modern culture, it dealt with issues head on where many would rather turn the other cheek. For a genre usually known to be so niche and tailored for specific listeners Fear of a Black Planet helped to buck a trend and open the eyes of anyone and everyone. Reeling off the accolades of Fear of a Black Planet would probably take an entire new blog page. So instead of listing the albums award nominations and what people think of it you should just go and give it listen. Enjoy and Power To The People!

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    • Paul Fisher profile image

      Paul Fisher 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I totally agree with you Spartucusjones. They're one of those groups that crossed various genres, twigging the ears and consciousness of many. I sometimes feel that modern music lacks some PE punch!! Thank you for reading again.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Fear of a Black Planet is one of the most important albums of all time of any genre! PE definitely deserves their place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and they made my list of the 10 best rock bands of all time (yes I said rock!). Thanks for the hub!