81. Anthrax & Public Enemy - Bring the Noise

I don't think I consciously picked this song to do right after the major downer of "Joe," but I'm glad it's here. I need a palate cleanser in a serious way. You don't get more cleansing than the combination of Anthrax and Public Enemy. It was the 90's version of Aerosmith and Run DMC, a combination that seemed to come out of a strange pair of musical dice. This is also a nice song, because it allows me to put Public Enemy (who definitely deserves to be on this list), as well as Anthrax, (who probably doesn't, to be brutally honest) on my list with one song. A twofer, if you will.

While this version is intended to be humorous in many places, the original Public Enemy version is anything but. It's an indictment of the critics who say that rap isn't real music as well as a rallying call to the black community to rise against its oppressors (well, to a certain degree...) But Chuck D, who originally didn't take Anthrax's request to do a joint version very seriously, found out that Scott Ian, one of Anthrax's guitarists, was a huge Public Enemy fan and often wore PE shirts at concerts.

Once he was convinced, though, the metal/rap gap was bridged and they teamed up for a kick-ass "cover" version. The song grabs you hard and fast and never lets you go, as do many of Anthrax's songs. It's a "play the guitar as fast as you can hope the singer can keep up" kind of song. If you compare the tempo of the two, you'll see that Anthrax has seriously upped the BPMs. It seems that Chuck has even upped the intensity, along with the speed, of his lyrics. He rips through lines like:

Follow for now, power of the people, say,
Make a miracle, d, pump the lyrical
Black is back, all in, were gonna win
Check it out, yeah yall cmon, here we go again

without any trace of irony that he's doing this song with a bunch of white metalheads who love rap. That's what makes this performance great. Both Chuck and the boys in Anthrax get the inherent irony of white guys playing black music, but they don't really care. If it was good enough for Elvis...

Once Chuck finishes his two verses, the self-described PE nut, guitarist Scott Ian, becomes lead singer Scott Ian for his verses. This time, though, they embrace the humor of the situation and let it show in the lyrics:

Whatcha gonna do? Rap is not afraid of you
Beat is for Sonny Bono, beat is for Yoko Ono
Run-DMC first said a deejay could be a band
Stand on its own feet, get you out your seat
Beat is for Eric B and LL as well, hell
Wax is for Anthrax, still I can rock bells
Ever, forever, universal it will sell
Time for me to exit, Terminator X-it

Then there's the typical silly Anthrax bridge before Scott finishes up, followed by Charlie doing some nice hip-hop drum work on the way out to finish up the song.

Anthrax has always been a fun band, and this song is a testament to that, but the fact that hard assed Mr. Serious, Chuck D, was a fun guy as well is a pleasant surprise. I always like surprises.

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