After over two decades apart, Public Enemy has announced they’ve returned to the label they helped launch: Def Jam Recordings.
Public Enemy have always been about revolution, social justice, and racial equality, and now more than ever that is a message that they feel needs to be heard. For them, there was no better partner than Def Jam for this.
Their first release together is “Fight the Power: Remix 2020,” which is the explosive remix that opened the 2020 BET Awards back in June, featuring Nas, Rhapsody, Black Thought, YG, Jahi, and Questlove. This remix is the first offering from the group’s upcoming album, What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down, which will be released on September 25th via Def Jam.
“Fight the Power: Remix 2020” was recorded back in June with the addition of new lyrics that reflect the global protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many more. The video features performances by the artists, filmed separately due to social distancing, and intercut with powerful protest footage.
“Cultural Institutions are important. Being an integral part of one is an honor bestowed and to uphold,” explains Chuck D. “Public Enemy songs are forever sonic prints in the sands of time. And it’s time – it’s necessary – to bring the noise again from a place called home. Def Jam. Fight The Power 2020.” Flavor Flav adds, “Def Jam is like the house we grew up in. It’s cool to be home.”
“Like so many of us, I have long been a Public Enemy fan, and the group was incredibly formative for me and the path I would take,” said Def Jam Chairman & CEO, UMG General Counsel Jeff Harleston. “PE has consistently been a living example of how music can profoundly move and unite people, and affect real change in the national conversation. As we continue to confront inequality and injustice, we need PE’s voice in the national dialogue. Def Jam is proud to partner with Chuck and welcome Public Enemy home.”
“For true fans of hip-hop all over the world, this is a historic moment,” said Def Jam GM & EVP Rich Isaacson. “Bringing Public Enemy home to Def Jam – in a time when their message is more necessary than ever – is a profound statement and a much-needed reunion. We are beyond excited to once again lock arms with the legendary Public Enemy.”