Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy. Rebecca Sapp/WireImageNot many music groups stay together long enough to celebrate 25 years, but that's exactly what Public Enemy did Monday night — and they put on a sold-out concert at the Grammys Museum in Los Angeles in honor of their milestone. Led by Flavor Flav and Chuck D, the Long Island, New York-based hip-hop group worked their way through a string of their most notable songs from their 12 albums, including "Bring the Noise," "Fight the Power," "Don't Believe the Hype," and "Rebel Without a Pause."
In addition to the music, Chuck D and Flavor Flav also got the audience laughing with their funny, somewhat nit-picking banter. At one point, the clock-wearing rapper-turned-reality star started going off about radio being "too scared" to play their songs, to which Chuck D interrupted, "Ladies and gentleman, the Flavor Flav part…" After his rant, Flav retorted back, "I had to get in one of my parts. You ain't gone none of my parts up here," in reference to the set list, which was primarily Chuck D-penned tracks. "Everything is your records. What about me, Chuck? Can we do '911 [is a Joke]?'" After the fans cheered, Chuck D said, "Okay, but you have to do it a capella."
Public Enemy onstage. Rebecca Sapp/WireImage
Last month, Public Enemy performed for the Operation: Skid Row festival, which benefited the Los Angeles Community Action Network dedicated to helping the city's homeless — a cause near and dear to new California-resident, Chuck D. "My place in hip-hop is not to be a tycoon, making trillions with a yacht," he said in an interview with Billboard.com. "My place is maybe bringing people together and me being able to identify and illuminate a cause, and we'll make it comfortable for them to be themselves but say what they've really been wanting to say all along, you know, with my protection."
Although PE has not put out a new album since 2007's independent release, How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?, they plan to roll out not one, but two new collections of music this year. First up will be Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp in June, followed by The Evil Empire of Everything in September. Explains Chuck D: "They are two concise statements that are connected in the same breath."