Public Enemy's Flavor Flav being carried off the stage (still rapping) by S1W Brother James at Ahhh's Dance Club, Ottawa, October 26, 1989.
when i first heard Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back it blew me away. so much so, that i would play tracks on my punk radio show on CKCU-FM. i felt the same urgency, power and sincerity in this "dance" music that i had only found in the political hardcore of the Regan era. to me Public Enemy were as punk as MDC or the Dead Kennedys -- the music, the message equally uncompromising -- all preaching anti-racism/drug/government, peace and togetherness. i'd argue that it is the most important record of the history of popular music, bringing political "dance" music to the masses, while setting a benchmark for hip hop.
i had seen Public Enemy a few months prior to their Ottawa debut, at the Concert Hall in Toronto, the week after the Washington Post ran an article attributing racist quotes to PE's Minister of Information, Professor Griff. on my way from the bus terminal to the show i popped into punk/metal record store, Record Peddlar. uniformed in black longsleeves of various metal bands, the staff at Record Peddlar always seemed to be intentionally cold and unhelpful. i went to pay for my Negative Approach cassette and asked counter person Brian Taylor for directions to the PE show. he looked at me incredulously and said that he wouldn't dare go to the show for fear of his safety. Brian is a relatively tough looking guy, a few years my senior, who fronted legendary Toronto hardcore band Youth Youth Youth. i figured if he was scared to go to the show...
as i approached the venue a few hours before showtime, to try to get an interview with the band, i noticed a troop of white teenage boys in ball caps hanging out on the steps. i then clued in to Brian's little joke. mind you, the white kids segregated themselves in the balcony leaving the dancefloor predominantly black. i shot photos from the floor while Chuck D railed on the white media, talking for almost half of their two hour set. surrounded in a sea of raised black fists during the intro to "Night of the Living Baseheads", i felt in the minority for the first time in my life. too white, too weak.
this show was the 2nd major hip hop show to hit Ottawa (the first was Ice T that summer), and the best hip hop show i have seen, tied with Tackhead at the Ritz in NYC in 1987. the afternoon of the show i got to meet Chuck D, Flavor Flav and Terminator X at CKCU where they did an interview (and stocked up on t-shirts and ballcaps) and again later at an autograph session at Shake Records. they were super nice and totally cool. later that evening, PE played for more than an hour kicking in with Bring The Noise and ending with a hyper CKCU-capped Flav continuing rapping after the band had left the stage.
call in the S1Ws.
link of the day
the ultimate vegan site
word of the day
sobriquet  - a fanciful or humourous appellation; a nickname.
example: "Most sobriquets are derived from a person's physical appearance or a variation of their name."
3.26.01 3.27.01 3.28.01 3.29.01 3.30.01 3.31.01 04.01.01 04.02.01 04.03.01 04.04.01 04.05.01 04.06.01 04.07.01 04.08.01 04.09.01 04.10.01 04.11.01 04.12.01 04.13.01 04.14.01 04.15.01 04.16.01 04.17.01 04.18.01 04.19.01 04.20.01 04.21.01 04.22.01 04.23.01 04.24.01 04.25.01 04.26.01 04.27.01 04.28.01 04.29.01 04.30.01 05.01.01 05.02.01 05.03.01 05.04.01 05.05.01 05.06.01 05.07.01 05.08.01 05.09.01 05.10.01 05.11.01 05.12.01 05.13.01 05.14.01 05.15.01 05.16.01 05.17.01 05.18.01 05.19.01 05.20.01 05.21.01 05.31.01 06.14.01 06.20.01
all images (c) shawn scallen 2001. please contact before using or reproducing.