Chuck D, Professor Griff, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, Bill Stephney
PE are quite simply the most important rap group of all time and, on the eve of their 20th anniversary, they show no signs of slowing down. Their messages are as urgent and compelling as ever, their performances just as electrifying. A group whose musical style and incendiary delivery have earned them universal critical acclaim and millions of fans throughout their career, PE continues to blaze musical and technological trails with new songs and new media, pulling rap music into the future, all while keeping its musical roots firmly intact. They transcend the confines of rap and pop music, remaining one of the African-American community's most influential messengers, one of digital music's greatest champions, and a rare group whose lyrics are dedicated to analyzing, uplifting and empowering humanity.
The group burst onto both the rap and pop music world in 1987 with their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show. The production, handled by The Bomb Squad, introduced PE's trademark "noise"- layers upon layers of samples, sirens, and general chaos. Then came the classic It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back in 1988, which resonated with America in a way no other album had ever before and is considered to be one of the most important albums ever released. Rolling Stone names it one of the 100 greatest albums ever made; the New York Times named it one of the 25 most significant albums of the last 20th century; and, most recently, Spin magazine placed it No. 2 (sandwiched between Radiohead and Nirvana) as one of the 100 greatest albums between 1985-2005. Their follow up album was arguably even greater- 1990's Fear of a Black Planet was listed in the Library of Congress' list of 50 albums worth preserving in their National Recording Registry. PE's follow up albums continued to push the rap envelope and earned them further acclaim that cemented their status as one of music's living legends. The one-two punch of Chuck D and Flavor Flav, one of the great front men and the greatest hype man in rap, remains an untouchable combination.
In 2001, Chuck D launched his own label, SlamJamz (www.slamjamz.com), billed as an "Internet-first" record company, releasing singles using MP3 technology. Slamjamz continues to release albums by hip hop artists personally discovered and nurtured by Chuck.
The numbers that reflect PE's career are staggering: 56 tours, performing over 1300 concerts to fans in 45 countries. That they will finally make it out to China and close the Saturday edition of the Beijing Pop Festival is a truly historic moment.
PE Discography (Albums):
Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987)
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
Fear of a Black Planet (1990)
Apocalypse' 91 - The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
He Got Game Soundtrack (1996)
There's a Poison Going On (1999)
New Whirl Odor (2005)
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