Chicago - Dec. 14, 2017
Music TV Politics Sports Books People Places & Things
 
Beachwood Rock
Our monthly music archive.

RockLinks
Richrath
Canada Rocks!
The Detroit Cobras
Genrepalooza
Rock & Roll High School
Songfacts
Measure for Measure
No Depression
Slacker Radio
Live Music Archive
This Day in No. 1 Songs
Uncut
Sound Opinions
Reason to Rock
WhoSampled
RobbieFulks.com
Underground Bee
@GregKot
@JimDeRogatis
Rock's Back Pages
Ultimate Classic Rock
SoundCloud
The Talkhouse
JonLangford.com
K-Tel Classics
The Blue Ribbon Glee Club
Shit Albini Says

Song Of The Moment: Fight The Power

"In 1988, shortly after the release of their second album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy were preparing for the European leg of the Run's House tour with Run-D.M.C.," according to the song's Wikipedia entry.

"Before embarking on the tour, film director Spike Lee approached Public Enemy with the proposition of making a song for one of his movies. Lee, who was directing Do the Right Thing, sought to use the song as a leitmotif in the film about racial tension in a Brooklyn, New York neighborhood.

"He said of his decision in a subsequent interview for Time, 'I wanted it to be defiant, I wanted it to be angry, I wanted it to be very rhythmic. I thought right away of Public Enemy.'

"At a meeting in Lower Manhattan, Lee told lead MC Chuck D, producer Hank Shocklee of The Bomb Squad, and executive producer Bill Stephney that he needed an anthemic song for the film.

"While flying over Italy on the tour, Chuck D was inspired to write most of the song. He recalled his idea, 'I wanted to have sorta like the same theme as the original 'Fight the Power' by The Isley Brothers and fill it in with some kind of modernist views of what our surroundings were at that particular time.'

"The group's bass player Brian Hardgroove has said of the song's message, 'Law enforcement is necessary. As a species we haven't evolved past needing that. 'Fight the Power' is not about fighting authority - it's not that at all. It's about fighting abuse of power.'"

*

Soundtrack version.

*

Full version from Fear of a Black Planet.

*

LYRICS:

1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hittin' your heart cause I know you got sould
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you're missin' y'all
Swingin' while I'm singin'
Givin' whatcha gettin'
Knowin' what I know
While the Black bands sweatin'
And the rhythm rhymes rollin'
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power

[Chorus]

As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you've realized the prides arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
from the heart
It's a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothin's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
Cause we don't know the game
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say . . .
Fight the Power

[Chorus]

Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Motherfuck him and John Wayne
Cause I'm Black and I'm proud
I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped
Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
Sample a look back you look and find
Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check
Don't worry be happy
Was a number one jam
Damn if I say it you can slap me right here
(Get it) lets get this party started right
Right on, c'mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be

-

Previously in Song of the Moment:
* Iron Man
* The Story of Bo Diddley
* Teach Your Children
* Dream Vacation
* When The Levee Breaks
* I Kissed A Girl
* Theme From Shaft
* Rocky Mountain High
* North to Alaska
* Barracuda
* Rainy Days and Mondays
* Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?
* Baby, It's Cold Outside
* Man in the Mirror
* Birthday Sex
* Rio
* My Sharona
* Alex Chilton
* Surfin' Bird
* By The Time I Get To Arizona
* Heaven and Hell
* Sunday Bloody Sunday
* Lawless One
* Tell It Like It Is
* The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
* Lake Shore Drive
* On, Wisconsin!
* Anarchy in the U.K.
* Ballad of a Thin Man
* White Riot
* Know Your Rights
* Chicago Teacher
* Youngstown
* Over The Cliff
* Almost Gone (The Ballad of Bradley Manning)
* Party at the NSA
* V.E.N.T.R.A.
* Plutocrat (The Ballad of Bruce Rauner)

-

See also:
* Songs of the Occupation: To Have And To Have Not
* Songs of the Occupation: Johnny 99

-

Comments welcome.



Permalink

Posted on December 4, 2014


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Cricket vs. Brexit.
POLITICS - Charter Schools Complicit With Segregation.
SPORTS - USA Gymnastics Bans Illinois Coach.

BOOKS - The Randomness Of Harvard Admissions.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Public Lands Matter.


Search The Beachwood Reporter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Email:

Follow BeachwoodReport on Twitter



Beachwood Radio!


Ask Me Anything!