Public Enemy blasts back with new tour

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Entertainment,Music,Nancy Dunham

This has been quite a year for Public Enemy.

Two new albums with a host of household-name guest artists, a nomination to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the arrest of band member Flavor Flav in Las Vegas, accused of assaulting his fiancee and son. If we go by history, though, the hot water that landed Flavor Flav in hot water won't slow down the band.

"Flav's part of Public Enemy. We all are," leader Chuck D told The Washington Examiner in a past interview when asked about Flav's then-reality show "Flavor of Love." "We are Public Enemy anytime, anywhere. This is the greatest hip-hop show on earth, and I'm not saying that because I'm in it. It's because we're all in it."

Chuck D and the rest of the group have good reason to boast. Their first single, 1987's "Public Enemy #1," was a combination of Chuck D's commanding orations and Flav's antics. Not only did it give the group it's name, but it gave a whole new sound to the rap genre -- layers upon layers of samples, sirens and general chaos.

Onstage
The Hip Hop Gods Tour
» Where: 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW
» When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
» Info: $35; 877-435-9849; 930.com

The group's second album, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," was hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the 50 greatest albums of all time.

And the hard-charging albums have continued right up to now with the band's two most recent releases: "Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp" in June and "The Evil Empire of Everything" in September.

"They're totally separate albums," Chuck D told Rolling Stone. "But 25 years ago, it probably would have been called a double album. And maybe 25 years ago, it would have been called an extended A-side or extended B-side. But now, in today's digital space, we thought it's very important to be able to slow the listener down."

Although Chuck D told Rolling Stone that the albums are related but "unidentical," they each have a star-studded guest list including Brother Ali, Henry Rollins, Tom Morello, Z-Trip, Large Professor, Bumpy Knuckles and Gerald Albright.

Now the band is on the Hip Hop Gods Tour with other artists.

"We are the Rolling Stones of the rap game," said Chuck D to The Examiner. "Nobody can match my boys. Nobody."

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