Can't Truss It

Album: Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991)
Charted: 22 50

Songfacts®:

  • In a 1991 interview with Melody Maker, Chuck D of Public Enemy explained: "'Can't Truss It' is about how the corporate world of today is just a different kind of slavery. We don't control what we create. And because of the media, we don't control the way we think or run our lives. We've got to limit working for a situation that's other than ours. We have no ownership of anything. If you don't own business, then you don't have jobs. White people have jobs because they have business. They have institutions that teach them how to live in America. Black people don't have institutions that teach them how to deal with s--t. The Number One institution that teaches you how to deal is the family, but slavery f--ked that up. So the song is about the ongoing cost of the holocaust. There was a Jewish holocaust, but there's a black holocaust that people still choose to ignore."

    In later years, rappers took much more control of their marketing and business opportunities, becoming so opportunistic that they would even get paid to mention products in their lyrics. Jay-Z is probably the best example, giving rap product placement to Motorolla on his 2000 track "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)," in the lyrics, "Motorolla, two way page me." By the end of the decade, he had interests in a record company, a clothing line, nightclubs and an NBA basketball team.
  • Like many rap songs from the early '90s, this was built on samples. The sampled tracks are: "Sing a Simple Song" by Sly & the Family Stone, "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" by James Brown, "Hihache" by Lafayette Afro Rock Band, "Bicentennial Ni--er" by Richard Pryor, "I'm Nin'Alu: by Ofra Haza, "It's Yours" by T La Rock and Jazzy Jay, and "Dumb Girl" by Run-D.M.C.

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