Throwback: “Burn Hollywood Burn”, Ft. Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane
This day in hip-hop throws it back to their iconic tune, “Burn Hollywood Burn”.
The track is featured on the rap group's timeless 1990 album Fear Of A Black Planet, a record esteemed for its overall confrontational tone and critically-acclaimed singles, such as “Welcome To The Terrordome”, “911 Is A Joke”, and the unforgettable “Fight The Power.”
Resonant to the album's thematics, “Burn Hollywood Burn” falls nothing short of the band's trademark shock-factor, with PE frontman Chuck D locking his crosshairs against nationwide mistreatment towards actors and actresses of Afro-American heritage. The track “was basically about the messed up side of the film industry,” mentioned Chuck in the book Lyrics Of A Rap Revolutionary.
He adds, “I had studied from all of the pressure that Spike Lee had gotten, and I was pretty much making a knock on Hollywood, because black people have been made to look like fools and buffoons through that form of mass media through early parts of the 1900's, and how it's controlled by everybody else but us.”
The song begins with Chuck's iconic baritone voice booming over some thunderous beats ala Bomb Squad productions; After which, he passes the mic to Ice Cube, who had been present during the track's recording and asked if he could share in the frenzy.
The collaboration proved to be a tremendous success, with Cube sending his personal message to Hollywood land, complete with the West Coast rapper's trademark profanity and audio effects. As if those weren't enough, Cube manages to land a clever jest on one of PE's most iconic songs: “Pulled to the curb, getting played like a sucker/ Don't fight the power [machine gun blasts] the m—her f—ker.”
From there another guest artist dons the mic, as Big Daddy Kane adds the capitalizing factors with his lightning-fast rhythms: “Many intelligent black men seemed/ To look uncivilized on the screen,” he raps, “And black women in this profession/ As for playing a lawyer, out of the question/ For what they play, Aunt Jemima is the perfect term/ Even if now she got a perm.”
Kick off the week by listening to this timeless track, Public Enemy's “Burn Hollywood Burn.”
By Jods Arboleda for PublicEnemy.com