Album: Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black
Producer: The Bomb Squad
Label: Def Jam/Elektra
Lyric: “Talkin' MLK/Gonna find a way/Make the state pay/I'm lookin' for the day/Hard as it seems/This ain't no damn dream.”
When Arizona became the only state to abolish the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—approved by congress in 1983—Stevie Wonder joined Coretta Scott King in calling for entertainers and others to boycott the state. Public Enemy went even further, devoting a whole song to Arizona's backward state of mind—and one of the most controversial videos ever. One year later, after the NFL moved Super Bowl XXVII from Tempe, AZ to Pasadena, CA —thereby, as Chuck D said, making the state pay—Arizonans finally voted to observe MLK Day. Behold the power of hip-hop.