On this day in music history: June 28, 1988 – “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”, the second album by Public Enemy is released. Produced by The Bomb Squad (Hank Shocklee, Carl Ryder (aka “Chuck D.”) and Eric “Vietnam” Sadler), it is recorded at Chung King House Of Metal, Greene Street Studios in New York City and Sabella Studios in Long Island, NY from Mid – Late 1987. Following up their acclaimed debut “Yo! Bum Rush The Show”, the Long Island, NY based rap group looks to surpass their previous effort, wanting to capture on record the same energy generated by their live performances. Made up of tracks packed densely with samples, and combined with powerful pro-black, politically and socially conscious lyrics delivered by Chuck D. and Flavor Flav (often providing a stream of conscious lyrical counterpoint), the finished album is unlike anything heard before in Hip Hop. It makes a major impact upon its release not only within the rap music community, but also with the mainstream rock press who praise it not only as a watershed release for the genre, but as one of the best and most important albums of the era. It spins off five singles including “Don’t Believe The Hype” (#18 R&B), “Bring The Noise” (#56 R&B), and “Night Of The Living Baseheads” (#62 R&B). The album is reissued as a limited edition release on vinyl for Record Store Day on April 19, 2014, marking the first time the landmark rap album has been available on vinyl in more than a decade. “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” spends one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number forty two on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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