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Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (33 1/3) Paperback – April 8, 2010
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About the Author
Christopher R. Weingarten is a professional freelancer living in Brooklyn, whose work can currently be seen in the Village Voice, RollingStone.com, Spin, Revolver, The Guardian, eMusic and much more. His speech, Twitter And The Death Of Music Criticism at the 140 Characters Conference in New York became a viral sensation in 2009. He reviewed 1000 of 2009's new records over Twitter on his account, @1000TimesYes. He is the shadowy figure behind hipsterpuppies.tumblr.com and is also the author of its corresponding book, upcoming via NAL/Penguin.
Top Customer Reviews
Hip hop in the mid-to-late `80s wasn't the commercialized custerfluck it is today. Rap artists were battling for supremacy in an era when a DJ or music critic's opinion was the gospel, the end-all be-all to critical acclaim or absolute ostracization. Even after dropping their debut album on the biggest rap label on the planet, Public Enemy still wasn't turning heads like they'd expected. Critics panned them and DJs - most notably Mr. Magic, which Weingarten touches on - refused to play their records. It was at that point at which PE front man Chuck D, upon hearing Eric B. & Rakim's "I Know You Got Soul", knew he had to double up for the group's sophomore effort - or "turn it up", if you will.
Weingarten portrays the group's creative efforts and direction, fused by Chuck D's hard as nails steadfastness and the Shocklee brothers' unique sonic structuring, accompanied of course by Flavor Flav's spunk and the militant imagery of the S1Ws and Professor Griff.Read more ›
Growing up, I was always much more concerned with lyricism than production. I remember I used to consider hip-hop beats "background music" for the rhyming. My favorite emcees as a kid were Rakim, KRS-ONE, and Chuck D. Rapping was about being smart, first and foremost, and it wasn't until The Chronic that I really started paying attention to beats. Now, I make beats (or at least try to) on the MPC 2000, and I've been doing that an and off again for 15 years. I collect records and always listen for samples, but this is a comparatively recent development, if you consider that the bulk of the formative years of my hip-hop education came B.C. (Before Chronic).Read more ›
The story of It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back has been told before. If you are writing a term paper, check out these sources too: Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies, and Don't Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin': The Authorized Story of Public Enemy.
Having already read the above, I was hesitant to purchase this book. However, not only did the author offer additional information, he uses a clever literary device. Weingarten argues that the back story of each of the samples that makes the music of It Takes a Nation are essentially important to the new songs that were created. I think going into an explanation would only detract from a new reader's enjoyment, but (in my opinion) it is executed perfectly.
Before reading this book, I could explain why this album is a favorite. But after reading it, I understand so much better! It is a sum of many things I love. James Brown. Funkadelic. Stax Records. And, most of all, sampling: taking something old and making something new with it. For me, it was a big "Ah-Ha!" moment. Weingarten explained to me something that had been swirling around in my head for years. Thanks. When I was finished, I let it sit for a week.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another strong entry in the 33 1/3 series. Weingarten peels the lid back on the dense production of one of hip-hops seminal records. Read morePublished 14 months ago by jafrank
Love this book! This album was the soundtrack of my high school years.. Knowing what went into making it made me love it more.Published 18 months ago by Visual Advantage Media
The book arrived later than it said it would arrive, which was annoying... but it's in pretty good condition (it better be cuz it was pretty expensive for a used book)Published on October 2, 2013 by Alice Liu
This is one of the best books in the 33 1/3 series. The book provides a very wide historical context for the samples that shape the core of Nation of Millions. Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Jonathan Harris
The book was excellent in focusing on the album's links to other great moments in black history. It also gave a good background on what was going on before the album was recorded. Read morePublished on July 18, 2013 by Rich L.
this book is very written with words with letters with eglase without other language usuage this was also the tilte album yes/noPublished on May 17, 2012 by gcd
The book contains a lot of background on the making of the record - PE's transition from "Yo! Bum Rush the Show," their relationship with Russell Simmons, the Beastie Boys, Rick... Read morePublished on April 21, 2011 by TMFHitman