Posted September 15, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Public Enemy To Bring the Noise Once Again From Def Jam Recordings

Public Enemy photo by Eitan Miskevich
Public Enemy photo by Eitan Miskevich

After over two decades, Public Enemy — the iconic hip-hop group whose message of revolution, social justice and racial equality is more relevant today than ever — will reunite with Def Jam Recordings, the label that helped launch its career.

Public Enemy and Def Jam just released “Fight the Power: Remix 2020,” the tune that opened the 2020 BET Awards in June. “Fight the Power (2020 Remix)” is the first offering from the group’s forthcoming new studio album, What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down, set for release via Def Jam on Sept. 25.

“Fight the Power: Remix 2020” was recorded in June with the addition of new lyrics that reflect the global protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and far too many more. The video features performances by the artists, filmed separately due to social distancing, and intercut with powerful protest footage. 

“Cultural Institutions are important. Being an integral part of one is an honor bestowed and to uphold,” says Chuck D in a statement. “Public Enemy songs are forever sonic prints in the sands of time. And it’s time — it’s necessary — to bring the noise again from a place called home. Def Jam. Fight The Power 2020.”

“Def Jam is like the house we grew up in,” says Flavor Flav. “It’s cool to be home.”

“Like so many of us, I have long been a Public Enemy fan, and the group was incredibly formative for me and the path I would take,” says Def Jam Chairman & CEO, UMG General Counsel Jeff Harleston. “PE has consistently been a living example of how music can profoundly move and unite people, and affect real change in the national conversation. As we continue to confront inequality and injustice, we need PE’s voice in the national dialogue. Def Jam is proud to partner with Chuck and welcome Public Enemy home.”

“For true fans of hip-hop all over the world, this is a historic moment,” says Def Jam GM & EVP Rich Isaacson. “Bringing Public Enemy home to Def Jam – in a time when their message is more necessary than ever – is a profound statement and a much-needed reunion. We are beyond excited to once again lock arms with the legendary Public Enemy.”

Earlier this summer, Public Enemy released “State of the Union (STFU),” produced by DJ Premier. That track takes on Donald Trump and his fascist regime. As a press release puts it, it’s “an unflinching statement about the destruction the current administration has unleashed on the country and its people.”  

What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down is available now for pre-order, along with exclusive Public Enemy merchandise at publicenemy.com.

 Photo by Eitan Miskevich


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at jeff@whopperjaw.net.