Bring The Noise

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

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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

They Might Be Giants

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.