MUSIC: Which Side You On?

Public Enemy, which performs what might be called classic rap, returns with a new target for its anger -- gangsta rappers

It hardly seems possible, but some rappers are getting on in years. Just as the Rolling Stones and The Who had to adjust to the arrival of younger generations of rock performers, so have certain rap groups had to face the problem of becoming superannuated. When Public Enemy came along in the mid- 1980s, rap was mostly party music, but the band helped change all that. Their songs were dense and aggressive and carried militant political messages. Public Enemy made rap serious, and sold millions of records in the process. But it has taken the band three years to release a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!