I liked rap and I liked metal. Go figure. But how could I combine the two? Rap and metal were light years apart.
One of my favorite metal bands was Anthrax. And one of my favorite rap acts was Public Enemy. Now, here’s a funny story – when I was in 9th grade, I bought PE’s “Fear of a Black Planet” (already owning “It Takes a Nation of Million…” Almost immediately after that, my parents found it and read the lyrics and promptly took them away from me.
Of course, about a week later, I found them, copied them, and again was the happy owner of the second and third Public Enemy albums. Go me!
They didn’t seem to have too much of a problem with Anthrax. I had their State of Euphoria album and dug the crap out of it. I also had the album before that, “Among the Living,” which had the song that really put them on the metal map – “Indians”
I also had the “I’m the Man” EP, which was Anthrax’s tribute (?) to rap (which my parents, thankfully, never discovered). However, I was never sure if Anthrax liked rap or was just making fun of it. And with “I’m the Man,” how can you tell?
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But in 1991, Public Enemy and Anthrax got together and rerecorded the song “Bring the Noise,” a 1987 Public Enemy song I first heard on the Less Than Zero soundtrack that actually mentioned Anthrax (“was is for Anthrax”). I was pretty well in heaven.
By 1991 I was pretty well out of rap, diving fully into hardcore punk – even joining my first hardcore band that summer. Even so, I still listened to it a bit, especially Public Enemy. I don’t think I ever stopped listening to Anthrax. But this mixing of rap and metal really thrilled me and I still have a great time listening to it.
And, hey, I hope you did too!