Chuck D on Public Enemy’s Two New Albums: ‘They Will Talk to Each Other’

This is shaping up to be an extremely fruitful year for Public Enemy: the veteran hip-hop group will release two albums, 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 tells 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. The fact that you work on something, and a reviewer or a listener listens to it on their iPod or their file in about 15 or 20 seconds, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute. Slow down.’”

Chuck D describes the albums as “fraternal twins. Unidentical. And these records will talk to each other.” Both albums will feature numerous guests, including Brother Ali, Henry Rollins, Tom Morello, Z-Trip, Large Professor, Bumpy Knuckles and Gerald Albright.

As for confirmed song titles, Chuck D says, “One song title just emerged. It’s still the same song, but it talks about so many things that are pertinent to the issue, and it’s called ‘Beyond Trayvon.’ Another title is ‘Catch the Thrown.’” But don’t expect the tunes to reflect a specific Public Enemy era of the past. “Public Enemy has never made two albums alike,” he says. “This is all its own ilk.”

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