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There's A Poison Goin' On - Public Enemy

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Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap - East Coast / Artist: Public Enemy / Explicit Lyrics / Audio CD released 1999-10-01 at Pias

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      09.07.2001 06:49
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      Yes, there is a poison going on, but this is one infection that’s well worth spreading. The Enemy is back having prized itself from corporate strangleholds to give to the public their eighth album and its original all-star cast. Fourteen tracks worth of heavy-hitting vocals and idiosyncratic rhythms later, and this is one Enemy who are bound to remain popular after this latest trip into insight as well as incitement. The outspoken power-talk of the effervescent Chuck D and madcap semi-comical whining of Flavor Flav double up to devastating effect alongside the peripheral-ominousness of Terminator X and Professor Griff, to produce a showpiece that reiterates everything that is right with this celebrated crew - harsh harmonies always open to debate through its sheer no-nonsense attitude that lead to the coining that rap was the original `Black CNN’. Contractual wrangles and the panned `He Got Game’ have long been forgotten since their entering of the independent market (`Do You Wanna Go Our Way ???’ initially only being available through internet download), allowing them to revert to their challenging, confrontational stance on hip hop music. `There’s A Poison...’ packs a flurry of punches that proves refreshingly nostalgic of PE in their prime, while putting the current rash of under-talented half-baked upstarts well and truly in their place. `Do You Wanna...’ is a right old opening - a big bad crasher with a gloriously simple yet still OTT guitar straight out of The Crow and screeching chorus interludes, layered over the top of Chuck D telling it exactly like it is while still asking questions regarding the demise of the game’s major playaz (`Who got Biggie, and who shot 2Pac ?’). `LSD’, with its quirky computer-game squelching bass, and `Here I Go’, a chunky drum workout determining the merits of their recent independence (`Execs writing checks for sex in spandex/Radios getting
      217; sucked by labels under the table/Mix DJ’s gettin’ overpaid for airplay), reiterates the value of `every man for they’self in this game’ (`P-E don’t give a damn about Uncle Sam’), bulldozing its way through with typical abrasive aplomb that signals evasive action. Flavor Flav then goes solo on `41.19’, holding his own in a mixture of retribution and discrimination as the beats continue at an unrelenting pace. A superb sprawling-killer of a bassline that suddenly begins to reverse itself without warning on `Crash’ continues to lament the current state of affairs before (‘The world we know, it’s going down...down...down...down ’) - then you realise the rewind on the bass reflects the spiralling into mediocrity Chuck and Flav are lambasting. It all makes perfect sense in a world that evidently doesn’t. Track by track, it’s all about Chuck, still smouldering with attitude rather than posturing with glitz and glam. With no guests to get in the way of his lyrical ambush, D shows no sign of mercy or remorse on the powerful `World Tour Sessions’, undermined only by a slightly sickly chorus totally out of sync with the Enemy delivery. `Last Mass Of The Caballeros’, lead by seemingly inoffensive chime chords, is instead another classic with its wickedly well-crafted gun-ho western samples and more word-firepower from the `Epitomy Of Public Enemy’ that recounts omnipresent divide (`Ain’t no difference between black and white/`cept the green in between/yeah right’). Continuing to talk with terrifying ease on the funky `I’, Flav then regains residence on the well old-skool ‘What What’; old-fashioned call and response choruses with a brilliant fusion of classic breaks and a clever continuous cymbal spinback with the clock-wearer bearing promises of `Making It Mo’ Better Now.’ The brash `Kevorkian’ throws in a right old menag
      erie of weighty guitars, heavy bass and the now familiar rewinding coil of drums, preceding the controversial `Swindlers Lust’, where Chuck lowers on down the octaves on a surprisingly weak final excursion. Still, the poison has well and truly kicked by this point - the intoxication well and truly addictive, making one hit never enough - rather like P E themselves... An undoubted triumphant return from one of hip hop’s originators of thought-provoking rap music. Don’t Believe The Hype at your peril...

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Dark Side Of The Wall 2000
    2 Are you gonna go our way???
    3 LSD
    4 Here I Go
    5 41.19
    6 Crash
    7 Crayola
    8 First The Sheep Then The Shepherd
    9 World Tour Sessions
    10 Last Mass Of The Caballeros
    11 I
    12 What What
    13 Kervorkian
    14 Swindlers lust