2. Public Enemy, It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988)
Label: Def Jam/Columbia
Is there anything to say about It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back that hasn’t already been said? Critics and scholars have devoted more space to analyzing PE’s second album than almost every other rap record put together. And with good reason: from the onslaught of sociopoltical facts and observations with which Chuck D. armed listeners to the obscene number of samples the Bomb Squad crammed into each track, It Takes A Nation packed more data into 70 minutes than almost any other album in history.
But no know-it-all talking head can ever convey the stop-you-in-your tracks, what-the-fuck-is-this? sensation of hearing the sublime cacophony of “Rebel Without A Pause” and “Night of the Living Baseheads” for the first time in '88. Fewer still know about the group's origins as Spectrum City sound system and their show on Long Island's WBAU FM the Adelphi University radio station.