Looking Back at “The Evil Empire of Everything”
On this day four years ago, Public Enemy introduced another installment to their vastly-acclaimed repertoire with their twelfth studio album, The Evil Empire of Everything.
Released under Enemy Records and distributed by Spit Digital, Chuck highlighted the new record as the “fraternal twin” to their other album Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on Stamp when the album released its CD version one month after its debut on iTunes—both albums gathered critical acclaim.
The album marked the group's tremendous growth and progression, as relayed from both fans and critics. Sound-wise, the album built upon their classic ambience cranking up to a phenomenal level of grit and angst. Lyrically, listeners would encounter the band's trademark politics-fueled blueprint transitioning towards more current issues. The single “Beyond Trayvon” features Chuck holding nothing back as he relays his thoughts about the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting.
The album also features appearances from prominent artists, such as Ziggy Marley on “Don't Give Up the Fight”, ferocious guitar licks from Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello on “Riotstarted”, as well as showcasing vocals from Gerald Albright and Sheila Brody on “Everything”.
Being their 12th record, the album envisioned an interesting image of a veteran Hip-hop group caught in a more modernized era of its time. Despite this, Public Enemy once again proved their prominence as, not only iconic figures, but perhaps legends themselves. The album presented an invigorating, retrospect ambience in a world overwhelmed with the worries of tomorrow. Not only that, but the content proved itself a strong voice against ongoing maladies, rallying masses towards raising awareness and taking a stand against it.
“This is how a hip-hop group reaches middle age: by placing themselves as part of a tradition, never lingering in the past but never desperately riding trends” AllMusic spoke in its critique over The Empire of Everything, but in my opinion, I believe he also spoke about the legacy Public Enemy imprinted upon the history of Hip-hop legends.
By Jods Arboleda for PublicEnemy.com