Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pitchfork fest to host discussion about seminal Public Enemy record

Announcement by Future of Music Coaltion

On Thursday, July 17, an important piece of hip-hop history gets its due. Future of Music Coalition is teaming up with the Pitchfork Music Festival to host a discussion about Public Enemy's seminal album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The free event – which features members of PE's production team and music media experts – will take place at 3 PM at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theater.

When Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back in 1988, it sounded like nothing else at the time. The album's sirens, squeals and squawks were met by fluid beats and frontman Chuck D's unflinchingly observant rhymes. Twenty years later, the record is still considered one of hip hop's finest achievements. It Takes a Nation fused politics and music in unprecedented ways, creating a dense sound collage of rhythm, noise and the voices of 20th century black leaders.

The in-depth discussion taking place in Chicago will explore the making of It Takes A Nation, as well as the cultural events that helped shape its message. The event takes place one day before Public Enemy reunites to play the album in its entirety at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

Hank and Keith Shocklee — one half of Public Enemy's production unit, the Bomb Squad — will reveal how they fashioned their powerful world of sound. Harry Allen, journalist, activist and onetime PE "Media Assassin" will join the members of the Bomb Squad in a lively conversation led by documentary filmmaker Kembrew McLeod (Copyright Criminals).

The discussion will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center's Claudia Cassidy Theatre, beginning at 3 PM. Admission to the event is free, but those interested in attending must reserve spots by emailing rsvp@pitchforkmusicfestival.com.

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