Knowledge About White Furniture Company
1. Controversy of white furniture company
Martin Luther King DayThe 1991 song "By the Time I Get to Arizona" from Apocalypse 91. The Enemy Strikes Black referenced the controversy a year earlier when Arizona cancelled a state holiday for Martin Luther King Jr., and the NFL switched Super Bowl XXVII from Arizona to California, costing the state an estimated loss of over $100 million. A video of "By the Time I Get to Arizona", which was shown only once on MTV, depicted Chuck D killing Arizona officials with machine guns and a car bomb. This violent behaviour attracted negative media attention, and was described by one newspaper columnist as being the opposite of what King died for.
Anti-SemitismIn 1989, in an interview with Public Enemy for the Washington Times, the interviewing journalist, David Mills, lifted some quotations from a UK magazine in which the band were asked their opinion on the ArabIsraeli conflict. Professor Griff commented that "Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world" (p.Â 177), a quote from The International Jew. Shortly after, Chuck D expressed an apology on his behalf. At a June 21, 1989, press conference, Chuck D announced Griff's dismissal from the group, and a June 28 statement by Russell Simmons, president of Def Jam Recordings and Rush Artists Management, stated that Chuck D. had disbanded Public Enemy "for an indefinite period of time". By August 10, however, Chuck D denied that he had disbanded the group, and stated that Griff had been re-hired as "Supreme Allied Chief of Community Relations" (in contrast to his previous position with the group as Minister of Information). Griff later denied holding anti-Semitic views and apologized for the remarks. Several people who had worked with Public Enemy expressed concern about Chuck D's leadership abilities and role as a social spokesman.
In his 2009 book, entitled Analytixz, Griff criticized his 1989 statement: "to say the Jews are responsible for the majority of wickedness that went on around the globe I would have to know about the majority of wickedness that went on around the globe, which is impossible . I'm not the best knower. Then, not only knowing that, I would have to know who is at the crux of all of the problems in the world and then blame Jewish people, which is not correct." Griff also said that not only were his words taken out of context, but that the recording has never been released to the public for an unbiased listen.
The controversy and apologies on behalf of Griff spurred Chuck D to reference the negative press they were receiving. In 1990, Public Enemy issued the single "Welcome to the Terrordome", which contains the lyrics: "Crucifixion ain't no fiction / So-called chosen frozen / Apologies made to whoever pleases / Still they got me like Jesus". These lyrics have been cited by some in the media as anti-Semitic, making supposed references to the concept of the "chosen people" with the lyric "so-called chosen" and Jewish deicide with the last line.
In 1999 the group released an album entitled There's a Poison Goin' On. The title of the last song on the album is called "Swindler's Lust". The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) claimed that the title of the song was a word play on the title of the Steven Spielberg movie Schindler's List about the genocide of Jews in World War II. Similarly in 2000 a Public Enemy spin off group under the name Confrontation Camp, a name according to the ADL, that is a pun on the term concentration camp, released an album. The group consisted of Kyle Jason, Chuck D (under the name Mistachuck) and Professor Griff.
HomophobiaFear of a Black Planet's "Meet the G That Killed Me" described propagation of HIV. Upon its 1990 release, New York Times writer Peter Watrous criticized the song's lyrics as containing "stupidly crude" homophobia. Zoe Williams defended Public Enemy against charges of homophobia, citing the same passage as Watrous:
If you look at the seminal black artists at the start of hip-hop, Public Enemy and Niggaz Wit Attitudes, you won't actually find much homophobia. The only recorded homophobic lyric in Public Enemy's canon was: 'Man to man/ I don't know if they can/ From what I know/ The parts don't fit' a lyric from "Meet the G that Killed Me" on Fear of a Black Planet".âWilliams, Zoe, "Hiphopophobia", The Guardian, 29 April 2003
2. Legacy of white furniture company
Public Enemy made contributions to the hip-hop world with sonic experimentation as well as political and cultural consciousness, which infused itself into skilled and poetic rhymes. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that "PE brought in elements of free jazz, hard funk, even musique concrte, via its producing team the Bomb Squad, creating a dense, ferocious sound unlike anything that came before." Terminator X's innovative scratching tricks can be heard on the songs "Rebel Without a Pause", "Night of the Living Baseheads", and "Shut 'Em Down".
Public Enemy held a strong, pro-black, political stance. Before PE, politically motivated hip-hop was defined by a few tracks by Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kurtis Blow and Boogie Down Productions. Other politically motivated opinions were shared by prototypical artists Gil Scott-Heron and the Last Poets. PE was a revolutionary hip-hop act whose entire image rested on a specified political stance. With the successes of Public Enemy, many hip-hop artists began to celebrate Afrocentric themes, such as Kool Moe Dee, Gang Starr, X Clan, Eric B. & Rakim, Queen Latifah, the Jungle Brothers, and A Tribe Called Quest.
Public Enemy was one of the first hip-hop groups to do well internationally. PE changed the Internet's music distribution capability by being one of the first groups to release MP3-only albums, a format virtually unknown at the time.
Public Enemy helped to create and define "rap metal" by collaborating with Living Colour in 1988 ("Funny Vibe"), with Sonic Youth on the 1990 song "Kool Thing", and with New York thrash metal outfit Anthrax in 1991. The single "Bring the Noise" was a mix of semi-militant black power lyrics, grinding guitars, and sporadic humor. The two bands, cemented by a mutual respect and the personal friendship between Chuck D and Anthrax's Scott Ian, introduced a hitherto alien genre to rock fans, and the two seemingly disparate groups toured together. Flavor Flav's pronouncement on stage that "They said this tour would never happen" (as heard on Anthrax's Live: The Island Years CD) has become a legendary comment in both rock and hip-hop circles. Metal guitarist Vernon Reid (of Living Colour) contributed to Public Enemy's recordings, and PE sampled Slayer's "Angel of Death" half-time riff on "She Watch Channel Zero?"
Members of the Bomb Squad produced or remixed works for other acts, like Bell Biv DeVoe, Ice Cube, Vanessa Williams, Sinad O'Connor, Blue Magic, Peter Gabriel, L.L. Cool J, Paula Abdul, Jasmine Guy, Jody Watley, Eric B & Rakim, Third Bass, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, and Chaka Khan. According to Chuck D, "We had tight dealings with MCA Records and were talking about taking three guys that were left over from New Edition and coming up with an album for them. The three happened to be Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, later to become Bell Biv DeVoe. Ralph Tresvant had been slated to do a solo album for years, Bobby Brown had left New Edition and experienced some solo success beginning in 1988, and Johnny Gill had just been recruited to come in, but he had come off a solo career and could always go back to that. At MCA, Hiram Hicks, who was their manager, and Louil Silas, who was running the show, were like, 'Yo, these kids were left out in the cold. Can y'all come up with something for them?' It was a task that Hank, Keith, Eric, and I took on to try to put some kind of hip-hop-flavored R&B shit down for them. Subsequently, what happened in the four weeks of December was that the Bomb Squad knocked out a large piece of the production and arrangement on Bell Biv DeVoe's three-million selling album Poison. In January , they knocked out Fear of a Black Planet in four weeks, and PE knocked out Ice Cube's album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted in four to five weeks in February." They have also produced local talent such as Son of Bazerk, Young Black Teenagers, Kings of Pressure, and True Mathematicsand gave producer Kip Collins his start in the business.
Poet and hip-hop artist Saul Williams uses a sample from Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome" in his song "Trnigger" on the Niggy Tardust album. He also used a line from the song in his poem, amethyst rocks.
The Manic Street Preachers track "Repeat (Stars And Stripes)" is a remix of the band's own anti-monarchy tirade by Public Enemy production team The Bomb Squad of whom James Dean Bradfield and Richey Edwards were big fans. The song samples "Countdown to Armageddon" from It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The band had previously sampled Public Enemy on their 1991 single Motown Junk.
The revolutionary influence of the band is seen throughout hip-hop and is recognized in society and politics. The band "rewrote the rules of hip-hop", changing the image, sound and message forever. Pro-black lyrics brought political and social themes to hardcore hip hop, with stirring ideas of racial equality, and retribution against police brutality, aimed at disenfranchised blacks, but appealing to all the poor and underrepresented. Before Public Enemy, hip hop music was seen as "throwaway entertainment", with trite sexist and homophobic lyrics. Public Enemy brought social relevance and strength to hip hop. They also brought black activist Louis Farrakhan to greater popularity, and they gave impetus to the Million Man March in 1995.
The influence of the band goes also beyond hip-hop in a unique way, indeed the group was cited as an influence by artists as diverse as Autechre (selected in the All Tomorrow's Parties in 2003), Nirvana (It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back being cited by Kurt Cobain among his favorite albums), Nine Inch Nails (mentioned the band in Pretty Hate Machine credits), Bjrk (included Rebel Without a Pause in her The Breezeblock Mix in July 2007), Tricky (did a cover of Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos and appears in Do You Wanna Go Our WayÂ ? video), The Prodigy (included Public Enemy No. 1 in The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One), Ben Harper, Underground Resistance (cited by both Mad Mike and Jeff Mills), Orlando Voorn, M.I.A., Amon Tobin, Mathew Jonson, Aphex Twin (Welcome To The Terrordome being the first track played after the introduction at the Coachella festival in April 2008), Rage Against the Machine (sampling the track in their song "Renegades of Funk") and My Bloody Valentine who was influenced by the Bomb Squad's production for their sound.