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Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality Paperback – September 8, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (September 8, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385318731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385318730
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #894,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Chuck D is the towering artist of Hip-Hop culture....His voice challenges all of us!"
--Cornel West, author of Race Matters

"Fight the Power will raise some hackles, generate some furor, and, most importantly, get people thinking about the way things are, and why."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"Gives free rein to hip-hop's longest-standing cultural watchdog....Anyone who expresses support for both Tupac and C. Delores Tucker in one book is worth listening to."
--The Source

From the Publisher

"Chuck D is the towering artist of Hip-Hop culture and a leading public intellectual of and for young America. His voice challenges all of us!"
--Cornel West, author of Race Matters

"This is a book every person should read...Do the right thing."
--Spike Lee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Dolezal on January 8, 2001
Fight The Power, by Chuck D examined everything in the current world today from the education system right down to where he thinks our culture is headed and why. Chuck D breaks everything down in the world and examines it to the fullest. At first glance it may seem like he is a grumpy, washed up rapper but look closer and you will find so much more meaning in the words than you can possibly imagine. Like in the following quote, "Whatever you do, don't go to war for your country." Chuck D is very opinonated and set in his ways. He goes into a full chapter about why you shouldn't be in the army because it changes you forever and how you will never be the same. Therefore, he also shows how the army tricks you by coming to your school and showing all this glitz and glamor to you. People shooting big guns, driving tanks, waving the american flag which essentially is not what the army is like at all. It's very gratifying that a successful rapper has finally released a book like this. It's a great break from the mundane evening news and daily paper. And in the following quote, "There's only a few serious black roles on TV. We have to put pressure on the networks and station groups where pressure hurts." Chuck D make his book universal by showing both sides of the issue and he shows the reader what can be done to help rectify the current problems he addresses in his book Fight The Power. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes any kind of hip-hop or anyone who wants a break from their day to day life and have a great read and whats wrong with our culture and what we can do to help it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marie N. Pierre on September 4, 2004
This was an honest account about one of the Iconz of the rap game. He gave a background about his family life that took us back to the 1960s in New York City. He was a cool kid who got in heavy into the hip hop game from college. Perhaps that set the tone for the book in my view. For Chuck D. Rap and Hip Hop are educational vehicle more than just news reporters about urban life. He insisted that only through education and higher learning are black folks in oppressive conditions around the world and mostly in the inner cities ever going to free themselves. I especially enjoyed the international aspects of his experience with Public Enemy. He loved travelling and rapping around the world from the US to Asia and Europe and the Motherland-Africa. Chuck should have a permanent position in a Comparative Studies program at a university. He lectures regularly at colleges which he wrote about in the book. I wish that he had written about his encounters with the students and the fans at concerts. Some of the highlights were his comments about his days as a DJ, opening and travelling with BONO of U2, Travelling to Africa-Ghana, specifically and his encounters with the press especially the troubles with being accused of anti-semitism.

Public Enemy was an experiment about the truth. They were a group of brothers who loved the game of Hip Hop and wanted it to grow so they did something about it by making opportunity and taking the ones that were offered. It was enlightening to read about the record deal with Def Jam and their relationship with Russel Simmons (he could have elaborated more about that). In the end I learn that rap (the old 80's & 90s style)was primarily a strong means of communicating a message about the conditions of life for young urban black (males).

I wish that Chuck D.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Ashley on June 12, 2000
Been a huge PE fan for years. Gotta agree with someone earlier that he focuses on black/white problems too much, when his arguments could be used for poor/rich as well. But the points he brings up about the black community and relationto white america are absolutely 100% correct, and I'm just wondering if that is a problem with the other reviewr. Also at points it seems like he is just bouncing ideas off of the wall that he isn't entirely sure if he agrees with the things he's saying. But overall it gets a rise out of you on topics like, atheletes, entertainment, and music, and what America does to represent these things (and vice versa). Good stuff!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Duane G. Aubin on October 19, 2000
Chuck D takes his talent with words from the mike to the pen, sharing his views on these current topics.
Although he writes as he speaks, with a..."colourful" vocabulary, I found that the tone is one of urgency, such that if the language is distracting, the reader hasn't grasped the gravity of the content.
Chuck D and Public Enemy continue to produce music for higher purposes than simply to make money and entertain; they clearly wish to educate, stimulate and elevate any who are willing to seriously look at what's going on in our world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Bosiljevac on December 26, 2011
Verified Purchase
Twenty-three years after buying the cassette tape of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, I still hold Public Enemy as the best rap group of all time. Half the tracks on my iPod shuffle are Public Enemy. They stand alone in both the sound and the content of their music--Chuck D's insightful, socially and politically provocative lyrics mirrored by Flavor Flav's wacky antics, all driven by the assaulting, dense wall-of-sound mixes of the Bomb Squad. There is not, nor has there ever been anyone like them. I picked up this book because I wanted a little more insight into the man behind the lyrics. I wanted to know where he came from and get some background to the songs. The book was published in 1997, so it's a little dated. A lot has changed in the world of hip hop, media, race, and Public Enemy, but it seemed like it would be an interesting read nonetheless.

From the start, Public Enemy was a controversial group. Rap music had been white sneakers, tracksuits, and rhymes that were clear and simple. And then comes this group out of New York that was loud and angry, a musical and visual personification of black militarism. They had a security force decked out in black and white fatigues and armed with uzis, a logo that showed a silhouetted b-boy in a crosshair (although many, including myself when I first saw it, mistook the silhouette for a police officer), and lyrics that took aim at seemingly everything: the media, the music industry, political leaders, liquor companies, daytime television, and anything else they believed to have a negative impact on the black community. They were raw, real, serious, and they made parents nervous. To a white teenager growing up in the suburbs, they looked and felt like rebellion.
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