Public Enemy Are Being Inducted Into The Grammy Hall Of Fame Because They Fought The Power
Public Enemy is a legendary Hip-Hop act that never received a Grammy Award. The Long Island, New York-based collective joins icons such as Eric B. & Rakim, Scarface, Nas, and Snoop Dogg with that distinction.
Ahead of this month’s 60th Grammy Awards (January 28), it has been announced that Public Enemy’s most resonant hit, 1989’s “Fight The Power” will be headed to the Grammy Hall Of Fame. Produced by The Bomb Squad, the Rap rally-call for equal rights was a centerpiece in Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing film. One year later, the song—which was nominated for “Best Rap Performance,” would lose to Young MC’s “Bust A Move.”
The Fear Of A Black Planet inclusion would be P.E.’s first Grammy nominated-song. It joined nominees De La Soul (“Me Myself and I”), DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince (“I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson”), and Tone-Loc (“Funky Cold Medina”), in addition to the winner, Loc’s Delicious Vinyl Records label-mate (and hit songwriter). For P.E., the loss followed 1988’s “Terminator X To The Edge Of Panic,” where Flavor Flav lambasted, “Who gives a f*ck about a goddamned Grammy?” before Chuck stated in rhyme that his crew was beyond judgment.
P.E. would again lose in the “Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group” category in 1991 (to Quincy Jones’ “Back On The Block” ensemble with Big Daddy Kane, Ice-T, Kool Moe Dee, Grandmaster Melle Mel, and QDIII), 1992 (to DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime”), and 1993 (to Arrested Development’s “Tennessee”). In all three cases, P.E.’s nominated work was their album, not a single. Fear Of A Black Planet, Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black, and Greatest Misses were the respective LPs.
In 1995, Public Enemy received their fifth Grammy nomination in the “Best Metal Performance” category, thanks to a “Bring The Noise” update, via an Anthrax collaboration. Like Rap, Metal was a category addition in 1989’s awards ceremony.
On Twitter, neither Public Enemy nor Chuck D responded to the 2018 nod.
Also going into the Grammy Hall Of Fame is Dr. Dre’s 1992 solo debut album, The Chronic. Following its release, the Death Row Records project earned the Compton, California producer/MC his first Grammy for “Let Me Ride” as “Best Rap Performance.” David Bowie, Sam Cooke, and the Rolling Stones are among the full list of inductees, per XXL.
Last year, an album Dre produced and rapped on, N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton, was inducted. Like P.E., N.W.A. never received a Grammy previously.
Less than one year ago Public Enemy released their 14th album, Nothing Is Quick In The Desert (Except Death). The group, which includes Chuck, Flav, Professor Griff, DJ Lord, and Khari Wynn offered the album for free download, initially.