Roc Marciano's 25 Favorite Albums

Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

Label: Def Jam/Columbia

Roc Marciano: “That’s another thing where it’s like, ‘That’s me. That’s where I’m from.’ You can’t even describe what Public Enemy was doing with their beats, to Chuck’s rhyming. Flav coming in. I’m from the part of Long Island where dudes like Flava Flav are perfectly normal. [Laughs.] Public Enemy took the game over. S1Ws, Professor Griff. That military shit.

“There’s a 98 Posse flick that they took in front of an old school Hempstead building, in this old parking lot off Main Street. They’re sitting on the cover, with the leather bubble gooses, with the guns in their hand. That just embodies my neighborhood and where we’re from. I remember that time vividly.

“‘Night of the Living Baseheads’ and all that was crazy in the hood at the time. I’m from Terrace, and anyone who does their history knows there are clips of Terrace in that video. That album really spoke for the people at that time. ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos.’ In the video, he’s in jail, talking about how he got a letter from the government and they want him to fight in the war. That album, that’s masterpiece shit. Public Enemy coming in the game was like a hostile takeover.”

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