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How You Sell Soul to a Souless People Who Sold Their Soul??? Explicit Lyrics

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, August 7, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Public Enemy's been pioneers in combining verbal acumen with technological advances, performance artistry and theatricality, thematic integrity and artistic control. In an era where mega-national corporations dominate the marketplace and many rappers prefer being popular to being relevant, Public Enemy remain vibrant and topical. They've also forged and maintained a creative legacy that has a timeless quality, yet gives listeners intricate and compelling slices of life from the various eras in which these songs were conceived. They are not entertainers or performers but scribes and commentators providing insight and information through rhymes and music that has uplifted and still inspires legions of fans. Standard Jewel Case with bonus DVD.

Another Public Enemy album is always good news for hip-hop fans, and How You Sell... carries the torch. Other than a few forgettable tracks pulled from a Flavor Flav solo record, highlights abound here. The rockin' "Black Is Back" and the horn-heavy "Harder Than You Think" serve heavy helpings of uplift mojo. "Sex, Drugs & Violence" features a chorus of kids and peerless verses from KRS-One. "Long and Whining Road," the album's most moving track, sees Chuck D's lyrics leaning heavily on Bob Dylan song titles and one-off references to U2, Snoop Dogg, Tom Petty, Beastie Boys, and more. Dramatic production touches include the muted metal riff of "Frankenstar" and orchestral flavors like chimes ("Amerikan Gangster") and vibraphone ("Bridge of Pain"). As always, though, the music is the message, and where this album is so musically eclectic as to court identity crisis, in the end the instrumental elasticity only mirrors Chuck D's vast grasp of the continuum of social ills that mainstream hip-hop long since gave up battling in favor of greed, fame, provincialism, or all of the above. So in answer to the indulgent question of this album's title, maybe--just maybe--this is how we do it. --Jason Kirk

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Who You Sell Soul To a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul???
  2. Black Is Back
  3. Harder Than You Think
  4. Between Hard and a Rock Place
  5. Sex, Drugs & Violence
  6. Amerikan Gangster
  7. Can You Hear Me Now?
  8. Head Wide Shut
  9. Flavor Man
  10. The Enemy Battle Hymn Of the Public
  11. Escapism
  12. Frankenstar
  13. Col-Leepin
  14. Radiation Of a Radiotvmovie Nation
  15. See Something, Say Something
  16. The Land And Whinning Road
  17. Bridge Of Pain
  18. Eve Of Destruction
  19. How To Sell Soul? (Time Is God Refrain)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 7, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • ASIN: B000TJ6A06
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,128 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Vaughn Deyhle on November 2, 2007
Format: Audio CD
You know, it actually pains me to give this a three star rating. It's better than that. Pi perhaps? 3.62 stars, maybe? It ain't quite a FOUR but it's bloody PUBLIC ENEMY!!

Let me start with why I still deeply appreciate this album. Because I'm old enough (31) to remember rap before it became soulless, mindless, directionless, impotent, arbitrarily aggressive. I grew up on rap and loved it. It was a vital artform and there were so many guys out there with interesting stuff to say. IT PAINS ME NOW TO SEE WHAT IT'S BECOME. The current conveyor belt of slaptards that roll out albums now with all the same themes, near identical covers, coming from uniformly empty heads, ugh, it just pains me.

And this album gives the finger to all that.

For that, Chuck D, I thank you. When you listen to the lyrics, this album identifies the sheer stupidity in rap today with an ease comparable to explaining that 2 + 2 = 4. But once upon a time, they made albums addressing issues, huge ones, tackling them with a grandiose sense of revolution!! Why this now? Well, because it's necessary. Guys like Chuck and KRS need to reclaim hip hop from the pimps and hos who are perpetuating a very embarassing characature of it. Chuck is still one of the finest MCs, the lyrics are still solid, the message is still vital. Thank you, PE for refusing to disappear.

Now, here's why this isn't a 5 star album: because I remember It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back. Because I remember Fear of a Black Planet. The production on those albums just couldn't be touched back then. I still remember clearly the day I bought It Takes a Nation and got it home. I listened to it and it floored me as few albums ever have.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With American culture hijacked by American Idol and the infusion of six years of neoconservative anti-values, Chuck D., Flav and Company are back to remind us of the meaning of truth, where the struggle actually lies and how brilliant and relevant Public Enemy remain. After several replays, "Harder Than You Think" still brings a tear to my eye. It's that good. Five stars.
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Format: Audio CD
20 years in the Hip-Hop Game and Public Enemy still carrying the torch of being the voice of the people. This album pulls all the stops from a harsh reality checking of Hip-Hop with tough love, wisdom, and inspiration (How You Sell Soul??.., Harder Than You Think), the current state of Hip-Hop (Sex, Drugs, & Violence, Can You Here Me Now, Frankenstar), the played out "50 Cent type" imagery of today's Hip-Hop culture (American Gangster, Escapism), anti-Bush Adnministration and the never ending War in Iraq (The Enemy Battle Hymn of the Public, Eve of Destruction), and my personal favorite and most recent hot button topic in Hip-Hop culture (See Something, Say Something) on how this "anti-snitching" code of silence is backfiring on the culture/black community, and how thug rappers are using the black revolutionary term "snitch" for different (and wrong) reasons. Ever since Tupac and Biggie's deaths, the Hip-Hop culture has been cursed will the notion that it's cool not to snitch (Case in point: that embarrassing Camron interview on Fox News); therefore, giving shady government agencies and law enforcement a license to unconstitutionally profile and police Hip-Hop, while making it harder on the black community by allowing crime to escalate and remain unsolved. Chuck D was right all along: Hip-Hop is unfortunately the new COINTELPRO.

As always, Public Enemy remains constistent in delivering the valuable goods with their powerful substantial message that instantly grabs the listeners attention along with their top notch production that's never afraid to boldly explore different territory, yet never disappoints with individuality and orginiality.

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Public Enemy dropped a real banging CD. Uncompromising and in your face with raw lyrics. Chuch D, which I believe is one of the most underated M.C.'s in history, unleashes raw fury on the track "Harder Than You Think" and No. 7 "Can You Hear Me Now." Yes I can hear you Chuck even if everbody else can not. The ninth track "Flavor Man" is Flavors solo, way too noisy, annoying composition. I've heard Flav on other PE records hold his down much better. The 10th song Chuck D follows Flav's joint with the straight up commentary on the social & political issues of today. The 11th track "Escapism" is a throw back song that sounds like it could of dropped in the 60's complete with a tough saxophone by Daddy G, what a beat. The 15th track "See Something Say Something" is hot, and, Chuck displays his flow over some unusual old style beats, the base is in place "All those players driving Lexus's & hummers were taught by teachers defending Colombus." (Deep).

The 16th song "The Land Whinning Road" acknowledges 20 years in the struggle, it's pretty solid too. I must say track 18 is horrible it seems like the banging tracks are minus Flav. Except for (3). This was a great CD but probably would have been better with a little less Flav. This CD goes 19 tracks deep, maybe too many songs, 14 would have been good. But to hear Chuck D blazing the light of Truth in his lyrics, has made me change my outlook on the current Hip Hop landscape.
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