The historic hip hop band, known for the politic engagement, released their 15th album, the first in 3 years, on July 2015 “Man Plans, God Laughs”.
Chuck D declared at Maxim Magazine: “The album is a comment on this XXI century, so technological but also very political. […] We want to create a new model of making rap for the over-50”. Adding also that the artists that inspired him the most in these last years are Run the Jewels, Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.
A mouthpiece of the group, about the album, said that he was made to remember, as Chuck D says, that for each victory there is always a new battle to fight.
The album include musicians already consecrated in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame reconfirming themselves as innovators. The sound ranges from energetics modern ratchet beat and textures from electronic dance, to new original funk noise varieties, characteristic of P.E.
Furthermore, for the first time in ten years, they collaborated exclusively with just one producer – Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo, who worked with them since Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black in 1991, and recently produced – with unexpected success – Harder Than You Think, today the most quoted single of the group in the UK.
For Man Plans, God Laughs, the P.E. got inspired to a new iconoclast generation. “What Kanye e Rick Rubin did with Yeezus is extraordinary” says Chuck D about the Kanye West job of 2013, imbued with noise. Others influences include the Run the Jewels Killer Mike duo and El-P, but also Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar.
Chuck D also changed his vocal style from a “minimal vocal gymnastics to an abundance of massive words you can’t ignore. They’re like George Foreman lines”. His preference for brief songs “similar to concrete blocks”, gives life to a short album “29 minutes and some seconds, then you get up and you go. It’s very hard. Probably the Public Enemy most intense album of the century”.
The first half of Man Plans, God Laughs is electronic in a memorable way. In particular “Lost in Space Music“, takes inspiration from the industrial noise of their album of 1999, “There’s a poison going on”, while Chuck D satirizes about the gap between the golden age of hip-hop and Millennial rap. “Give a piece a Damn” unleash the drum machine 808 versus the frightful keyboards with dub hint.
In the second half, Gary G-Wiz revisits the classic P.E. formula, from the deep bass vibrations of Corporateplantationopoly to the vintage rhythm of New Jack in Earthizen. Even if Chuck has always a principal role, the others members shine of their own light.
Flavor Flav sings some lines in Me to We, Professor Griff gives his contribution in Corporateplantationopoly; DJ Lord follows in Praise the Loud composing and decomposing memorable moments of the P.E. to the disconnected rhythm of the keyboard; the frequent contributor Sheila Brody from Brides of Funkenstein appears in Honky Tonk Rules, a piece that recalls the Rolling Stones song, a theme that is repeated in the title No Sympathy From the Devil.
Man Plans, God Laughs is distributed from their distribution company, the SPITDigital. And, as the slow growth of Harder Than Yoy Think shows, the group is fearless about launching new music and give the time to the public to discover it, with his time.
Man Plans, God Loughs official video:
Lost in Space Music video:
Public Enemy official Website