Yo! Bum Rush The Show (January 26, 1987)

Yo!  Bum Rush The Show is the debut album from the legendary hip-hop group Public Enemy.  PE was compiled of lead emcee Chuck D, crew clown Flavor Flav,  Terminator X (the deejay), Professor Griff and the S1W’s (other than look intimidating and bustin’ a couple dance steps now and then, I’m not sure what purpose they served to the music…I recently saw them on Ceelo Green’s show Lay It Down, and, will just say they haven’t been diligent with their exercise regiment, these solders have been a little to at ease), and The Bombsquad (led by Hank Shocklee, his brother Keith Shocklee, Eric Sadler, and Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo). I feel like I just read off all the credits at the end of Avatar. 

To make a long story short:then, college radio deejay Bill Stephney was hired by Def Jam, and his first assigment was to sign an unsigned Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, (better know as Chuck D, it just sounds funny to refer to him as Carlton).  Since Bill had already worked with Carlton during his deejay days at WBAU, Rick Rubin sent Stephney to recruit Carlton. Add Flav and the rest of the crew, and the rest is history..

Many of you are probably familiar with their latter work, most likely their second effort It Takes A Nation of Millions, which received both commercial and critical acclaim (and created an equal amount of controversy), and is heralded by many as the greatest hip-hop album of all-time (but will discuss that at a later date). Yo! Bum Rush To Show is where the legacy of Chuck D and crew, begins. How does it sound over 20 years later?  Lets find out.

You’re Gonna Get Yours – Kind of ironic to hear one of the most militant/conscious emcees open things up with an ode to his 98’ Oldsmobile.  Chuck, being the thinker that he is, probably thought this would be a good way to get the brothers attention, and it ends up sounding pretty decent.

Sophisticated Bitch – Carlton hits us with a dedication to all the uppity women out there. The track serves as a decent canvas for Carlton to paint on.  The last line about the lady getting beat down to near death like proportions was pretty amusing (ah, listen to it before you call mean heartless) Sooooooo!  This was kind of nice. 

Miuzi Weighs A Ton – Carlton uses a nice metaphor comparing his vocal to an uzi.  This is a rare “battle” rhyme from Carlton, but he actually sounds pretty good doing it. Nice rhymes to a decent track, this was pretty entertaining. 

Timebomb –  Carlton rips this one (extended) verse wonder,  over a minimal beat that lets Carlton shine and show his skill.  Carlton may be remembered as a rapping activist but he lets the world know he is not only a conscious rapper  but a more than capable emcee who can rip shit if he so chooses.  This was dope! 

Too Much Posse – Flavor Flav gets a chance at a solo joint.  I’ll just say this, there is definitely a reason Carlton is the lead emcee.  Thankfully this is just one verse so it’s over pretty quick. 

Rightstarter – This is more of the Carlton that most listeners will remember him by.  This was a decent enough conscious song.

Public Enemy – Hilarious to hear Flavor Flav refer to Carlton as “Chucky D”.  Carlton once again spits a potent battle rap to anybody who questions his ability, over a minimal but effective track (I’m starting to sound like a broken record).  As the track fades out, Flavor sounds like the little brother, whose big brother just knocked out the neighborhood bully on his little brother’s behalf.  Chuck sounds refreshingly hungry on this one. 

M.P.E. –For the first time on this album, Carlton and Flav trade verse on the same song.  While Carlton sounds good and Flav sounds like, well, Flav, the track is too boring to even care.  Can someone tell me what MPE means?  Wait, I don’t even care.

Yo! Bum Rush The Show – Once again Carlton’s booming vocal sounds decent but the beats sounds empty and boring.  Most entertaining part of this song is Flavor Flav’s random rants in between Carlton’s verses. 

Raise The Roof – I guess this is PE’s attempt at a party song?  No wait, Carlton’s last verse it way too meaty to be called a Party song.  Eric Sadler gets his first and only production credit on the album, as co-producer of this track.  This was forgettable. 

Megablast – Carlton and Flavor simultaneously spit the verses on this song, not only about the crack dealer, but also the the crack head.  Carlton sounds a little uninspired on the second verse. Overall this was okay.

Terminator X Speaks With his Hands – And this one pretty much plays how it reads.  Mr. X gets a shot to display his skills but doesn’t do much, for me at least. 

Yo! Bum Rush The Show (is the “Yo” really necessary?) presents us with a young Chuck D, who seems more concerned with rep, rank, and swagger then battling the status quo with musical messages, which on the next PE album he would begin to mature into. That said, it was kind of nice to hear Carlton just emcee for emcee sake, as he sounds pretty good doing it.  But don’t get it confused, he still manages to sprinkle a few jewels while doing it.  We also get to hear Flavor play his best court jester role, that he would perfect on the next few albums.  Hank Shocklee’s (and the rest of the Bombsquad) got their feet wet on the production, and do a dcent job, overall.  Yo!Bum Rush The Show by no means is a classic album but it does have its glimpses of greatness.  It was nice to hear where the young men from PE started, compared to what they would maturate into (and in Flav’s case, later destroy his rep with the minstrel show that was Flavor Of Love).


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3 Responses to Yo! Bum Rush The Show (January 26, 1987)

  1. Kristian Keddie says:

    I love this album 8/10 for me

  2. Tony A Wilson says:

    This album was one of my favorites. It was ahead of its time when it came out,so a lot of heads slept on P.E. until the Rebel Without A Pause single came out. I remember them on the Def Jam tour in ’87 as the opening act. The crowd was lukewarm to their performance and Flav went berzerk!! He jumped off stage and started doing the wop and that got the crowd going as they finished with Rebel Without A Pause. Six Months Later everyones bumping Don’t Believe The Hype. So many people didn’t know this was their first album.

  3. Kristian Keddie says:

    I absolutely loved and still do love this album

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