Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Christopher R. Weingarten provides a thrilling account of how the Bomb Squad produced such a singular-sounding record: engineering, sampling, scratching, constructing, deconstructing, reconstructing – even occasionally stompingon vinyl that sounded too clean. Using production techniques that have never been duplicated, the Bomb Squad plunderedand reconfigured their own compositions to make frenetic splatter collages; they played samples by hand together in aroom like a rock band to create a “not quite right” tension; they hand-picked their samples from only the ugliest squawks and sirens.Weingarten treats the samples used on Nation Of Millions as molecules of a greater whole, slivers of music that retain their own secret histories and folk traditions. Can the essence of a hip-hop record be found in the motives, emotions and energies of the artists it samples? Is it likely that something an artist intended 20 years ago would re-emerge anew? This is a compelling and thoroughly researched investigation that tells the story of one of hip-hop’s landmark albums.
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- Weingarten, Christopher R
- Publication date
- 08 Apr 2010
- Continuum International Publishing