Label: Def Jam, Columbia
The name of Public Enemy's incendiary sophomore album proves they knew just how revolutionary and powerful its contents were, and who they were up against. Songs like "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" and "Party for Your Right" were searing manifestos, and helped mobilize a whole generation against racism, Reaganomics, and oppression. The album’s amazing title made it seem as if it was explosive contraband, and in many ways it was. It made fans feel like they were the good ones, fighting the good fight. But it was wrong in some ways: All those millions never managed to muffle PE’s message.