Time Out Chicago talks to Public Enemy founder/producer Hank Shocklee about the formation of the group: Shock on the system.
Our library was ridiculous. We would pull out breaks from the Turtles, Alabama and Level 42. We were just looking for anything that had that kind of hip-hop kind of vibration. Hip-hop was not a particular style of music, but a vibration. One thing that’s happened today, people look at hip-hop as a style of music. Anything that gave you that hip-hop feel was game–classical, jazz, country, folk. People don’t even know, Sesame Street had the biggest hip-hop record before hip-hop. “C is for Cookie” had a break in the middle of it. We would get two copies and rock that like crazy.
Public Enemy is performing their seminal masterpiece, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, live at the Pitchfork Music Festival on July 18 in Chicago. Unfortunately, Hank Shocklee won’t be there. Believe the hype—it’s a great album.
Time Out also talked with Chuck D: Relive the hype.