Bring The Noise

Album: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1987)
Charted: 32
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a track from Public Enemy's second album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, which group leader Chuck D described as "About how there's millions of motherf--kers stopping us from getting what we need to get." On "Bring The Noise" he takes shots at the group's critics and stands up for rap in general. In Rolling Stone magazine's Top 500 albums, he's quoted: "If they're calling my music 'noise,' if they're saying that I'm really getting out of character being a black person in America, then fine - I'm bringing more noise." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • At 109 Beats Per Minute (BPM), this was one of the fastest rap song of its era. Chuck D told Keyboard magazine how it came about: "Rap comes from the idea of a deejay working a party. A lot of our decisions are still based on that structure. We figure the thing that makes people really respond is changes in beats-per-minute. At one time, most of the rap music coming out was around 99 to 102 beats per minute, and that's what made us do 'Bring the Noise' [from It Takes a Nation...], where we jetted it up to 109. We changed the whole approach to rap by putting a different rhyme style over it. We tried to make that album like Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On in a fast, hectic rhythm. Then once we'd established that pattern, everybody followed. Young MC and all those guys started getting up there."
  • In 1991, Public Enemy recorded a new version with the metal band Anthrax. This collaboration proved that heavy metal and rap could get along quite well, and the subsequent tour when Public Enemy and Anthrax shared a bill showed that there was a similar audience.
  • It wasn't until 1991 when Gilbert O'Sullivan sued Biz Markee over sampling "Alone Again (Naturally)." Before then, rappers often sampled liberally without getting permission. This song uses parts of the following:

    "Funky Drummer" by James Brown

    "It's My Thing" by Marva Whitney

    "Get Off Your Ass and Jam" by Funkadelic

    "Fantastic Freaks at the Dixie" by DJ Grand Wizard Theodore

    "I Don't Know What this World is Coming To" by the Soul Children

    "Egg Man" by The Beastie Boys.

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