KEXP and Chuck D will Play Every Sample from Public Enemy’s ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’

Posted on: May 11th, 2018 at 5:06 am by

Photo: KEXP

Seattle-based radio station KEXP is celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back.

Morning Show host John Richards announced yesterday that its deejays will deconstruct Public Enemy’s seminal 1988 album. The news came just a day after the left-of-the-dial station spent the day playing the game “Six Degrees of Chuck D,” a twelve-hour block that weaved between the many musical contributions and orbit of influences throughout his career.

Similar to KEXP’s “Six Degrees” series, the June 21 slate of programming will dissect every sample and influence recorded on the album. Chuck D will be in the studio with them. It’s estimated to take about twelve hours in order to accomplish the feat. This “breakdown” format should sound familiar, as the station made international headlines for doing the same a couple years ago with the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique.

“We reached for a lot of obscure records,” Chuck D noted in an interview with KEXP. “We wanted to dig into crates before crate-digging was accepted as being a thing. A lot of times we found sounds that were on 45s. They weren’t clean. They were on 45s, and a lot of the companies in the ’60s, and the ’50s and ’70s just kept releasing 45s into the marketplace. But there were even b-sides to those 45s that few had actually turned around to listen to.”

Public Enemy released It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back on June 28, 1988.

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