Wu-Tang vs Public Enemy
The reverence for the Wu-Tang Clan among hip-hop heads crosses easily into the sphere of worship. It’s as if chanting “Wu-Tang” in front of a mirror will result in Method Man emerging from the glass. Beginning with the group’s first single “Protect Ya Neck” (loaded with aggressive lyrics and a sly piano line), the Staten Island boys introduced themselves to fans who would later sing “dolla, dolla bill y’all” at concerts and elsewhere.
A Wu-Tang album is the musical equivalent of “pantsing” listeners and forcing them to run circles around the block. The raspy, authoritative voice of Method Man commands audiences to confront lyrics so graphic at times they belong in the script of a gore film.
It’s hard to compete with the legacy of the Wu-Tang Clan — whose members have individually worked with De La Soul’s producer Prince Paul and Mary J. Blige. But if anyone can compete, it’s Public Enemy.
From singles like “Don’t Believe the Hype” to “Fight the Power,” the theme song of Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing,” Public Enemy didn’t just create raps, it created anthems that captured the anger boiling beneath the surface in the ’80s. Listeners looked at Public Enemy, and partic ularly Chuck D, as political leaders lyrically forwarding sentiments cour sing through black America — like “Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps” from “Fight the Power.”
Public Enemy infused the hip-hop of the era with power and intelligence, creat ing calls to action for listeners.
With repetitive squeals that add to the intensity of the politically-charged lyrics, Public Enemy raps are meant to be blared, (like Radio Raheem cranking up the dial on his boombox and setting it on society’s pizza counter) — daring The Man to turn it down. It’s that kind of rap.
Nostalgia matchup: Public Enemy vs. Wu-Tang Clan (Poll Closed)
Public Enemy 57.78% (104 votes)
Wu-Tang Clan 42.22% (76 votes)
Red Everything Movement