I was grooving to Yo! Bum Rush The Show! when I was in high school. I remember rewinding You're Gonna Get Yours on my walkman on some family trip.
On a historic trip to New York in 1988, I saw a vision that would change my life forever.
As I walked up the stairs to get out of the subway, I saw a huge poster of Chuck D and Flavor Flav behind bars and the title of one of my most important albums of all time.
Public Enemy was the enemy of the public. Their Uzi weighed a ton and they had too much posse. What were they doing behind bars and why was Chuck D still so militant in that photo? I remember standing in a trance looking at that photo every time we would pass through the subway. They would have to call me away from it.
When we got back home, I got a vinyl copy of It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back from Dutchy's Record Cave. One day, I was playing the record on the family stereo and wanted to change sides. Unfortunately, the record slipped from my hands and before hitting the floor, it got scratched by one of the metallic knobs of the receiver. I will leave it up to you to determine which side got scratched. Whichever you choose, you understand the magnitude of what happened. I bought another copy while on a trip to Toronto, but don't remember what happened to it. I bought a CD copy a few years ago.
Never have I had so many opportunities to own a hip hop album. One day, while walking to my place, I noticed a bunch of vinyl and CDs in boxes on the sidewalk. I walked away with a Master Of Reality by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin's second album, and you can guess which else.
I've got that one in plastic among my other records now.
For those unfamiliar with the classic album, Montreal's BBAM! Gallery will play Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back from beginning to end on Friday, October 24 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. A dissertation and cultural perspective by presented by special guest host Darcy MacDonald. Beverages and snacks included in $15 admission price.
The Suite Delight new time slot is Tuesday morning 2-3am EST on www.ckut.ca & 90.3 FM.