Chuck D, one of the founding members of the legendary group Public Enemy, recently shared his opinion on eight diverse tunes for Rolling Stone. With the new PE album, Man Plans God Laughs, out now, he told the magazine his thoughts on songs that they sampled, others he’s personally influenced by, and new ones making an impact within the youth.
Chuck D breaks down these selections: Issac Hayes’ "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic," The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women,” Miles Davis’ “In a Silent Way,” N.W.A’s “Fuck tha Police,” Run the Jewels’ “Close Your Eyes and Count to Fuck,” Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta,” Diddy and Pharrell’s “Finna Get Loose,” and DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What.”
Read a few samples, and head over to Rolling Stone to for the whole list.
Run The Jewels f/ Zack De La Rocha, "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)"
Zack de la Rocha added his instrument to the already wise Southern vet, Killer Mike, on top of El-P rounding the spit over his lab explosives. This record is like running into a Pujols swing head first, with jarring info slicing at you. If you love tender rhymes, this song is intentionally out to hurt you — with damn good reason.
Kendrick Lamar, "King Kunta"
Kendrick must love unorthodox arrangements. I can dig the fact that he cares less if you can maintain balance as he chops into the listener's head. He fills every space with a lot of damn nerve. Smacks you when you least expect it. We can thank the Nola MC Mystikal for carving that style for rap confidence.
Puff Daddy & The Family f/ Pharrell, "Finna Get Loose"
When I was on tour, all I heard on social media and from folk is how Diddy and Pharrell went "Terrordome" at the BET thing. I'm honored at the similarity, and whenever this happens, you want it to do well. It's okay for producers to keep digging until a shirt fits. The hardest thing is to cop a voice inflection, though. Machines still can't do it good. So these cats putting their personality on it makes it more interesting — although I think the N-word is a lyrical crutch for an MC.