Concert Review: Public Enemy with De La Soul, Ice Cube and LL Cool J

The Joint, May 24

Hey, is that Flavor Flav playing the drums and the bass? How many hype men can do that? I thought this as Chuck D’s flavorful sidekick slammed a drum set while Public Enemy’s set came to a close. The legendary hip-hop group, whose pro-black, anti-government stance still resonates nearly two decades after it hit the scene, is part of the Kings of the Mic tour alongside LL Cool J, Ice Cube and De La Soul. The energetic way the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s newest inductees rocked through their catalog was a testament to their music’s eternal appeal. Despite Chuck D and Flavor Flav being in their early 50s, they put to shame today’s twenty-something rappers with their high-octane live performances. Chuck D’s baritone reverberated like it was 1990 as “Welcome to the Terrordome” boomed through the speakers and Flavor Flav did his weird dance during “Can’t Truss It.” I looked around, and to see an all-age, -race and -gender crowd bark “Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me” made me smile. We’re still fighting the power in 2013. Can you dig it? ★★★★☆

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