Review #87: Public Enemy – Man Plans God Laughs

Artist – Public Enemy
Album – Man Plans God Laughs (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/1pmsTgxfLMkCw7C5LuSHFD

Public Enemy are a Hip-Hop group from New York, USA. The group formed in 1982 comprised of Chuck D – vocals, Flavor Flav – vocals/hype-man, DJ Lord – DJ, Khari Wynn – guitar, Professor Griff – vocals and the S1W Group. Public Enemy are most famously known for their stance on politics, race and economics through the lyrics of rapper Chuck D, but also rose to fame once incorporating wakey vocalist and hype-man Flavor Flav, whom would hit the news on a daily basis. Along with a string of iconic songs, gigs and albums Public Enemy have bounced back into the public conscience with their track ‘Harder Than You Think’ being used for the 2012 Paralympics and gaining a spot in the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here is Public Enemy’s 15th!!! … studio album ‘Man Plans God Laughs’.

15 albums in and Chuck D’s lyrics and delivery are still as powerful as ever, commenting on the headlines of today, which worryingly aren’t to dissimilar to the problems he was talking about 30 years ago. As a nice call back to their massive collection of influential work Chuck also incorporates stand out lyrics in certain songs from songs such as ‘Fight The Power’, also showing how things haven’t necessarily changed in topic as much as they should have. The beats throughout this album keep true to the groups origins and the old school hip hop sample sound, rather than catering to the electronic (popular) sounds of today, which many artists have tried to attach themselves to (snoop). Rather than stick to the usual hip hop sound however Public Enemy diversify in genre, for instance on the sound ‘Honky Talk Rules’, of which with its acoustic drums, electric guitar and soul back up singers brings in a country vibe, mixing the album up a bit. Personal favourites of mine would be the previously mentioned ‘Honky Talk Rules’ and the title track ‘Man Plans God Laughs’ for its original tough/aggressive Public Enemy sound.

Man Plans God Laughs is a brilliant album, still sounding fresh and original after so many before it. Chuck D is still a powerhouse rapper, an inspiration to many following in his footsteps, and this album further displays his lyrical ability.

9/10

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