Public Enemy

Before Wu-Tang Clan, before Odd Future, and before any of today’s cage-rattling rap groups du jour, there was Public Enemy. Made up of Flavor Flav, Chuck D, Khari Winn, Professor Griff and DJ Lord, Public Enemy was a trailblazing hip-hop collective who became the radical mouthpiece for a generation of sociopolitically energized people eager to expose systemic racism and empower black people. Over the course of 14 albums, especially the career-defining Fear of a Black Planet in 1990, Public Enemy personified fearless rebellion, the influence of which isn’t hard to recognize throughout hip-hop’s evolution through the years since then. Though their radicalism fostered its fair share of controversy, Public Enemy’s legacy nevertheless paints them as one of the most revolutionary acts in music history.