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Public Enemy’s "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back"

Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums

03-05-2022 • 38 mins

In the first episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums, we tackle one of hip-hop’s most important albums: Public Enemy’s 1988 political-rap masterpiece "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back", which landed at Number 15 on the magazine’s all-new 500 Greatest Albums list. In this episode, Public Enemy frontman Chuck D and producer Hank Shocklee tell the story behind the album and break down the sample-layering tricks behind its furious, groundbreaking sound. Rolling Stone’s writers and editors take a fresh look at the political and sonic radicalism of rap's first and greatest concept album and why it still matters so much.

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