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Public Enemy Announces New Album Featuring Nas, YG & DJ Premier

Mahlik Campbell

music /
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of PUBLIC ENEMY (Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns)

Public Enemy is hosting a Def Jam Records family reunion of sorts via its upcoming album, What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?

Late last month, the trio comprised of Chuck D, Flavor Flav and DJ Lord revealed they were resigning with Def Jam after over 20 years apart. 

Across 17 songs, Public Enemy will welcome an array of former Def Jam acts back to wax. "Public Enemy Number One" brings together the two remaining Beastie Boys, Mike D and Ad-Rock, with Run-DMC.

All three groups were affiliated with the label in the late 1980s: The Beastie Boys put out their debut album, Licensed to Ill, through Def Jam, and the same goes for Public Enemy and their debut, Yo! Bum Rush The Show. Run-DMC, meanwhile, was managed by co-founders Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. 

"Appreciate all the Kings and Queens who came thru on this record," Chuck D captioned the tracklist before naming the artists and producers who contributed their talents.

"Smash The Crowd" featuring Ice-T and PMD represents another full circle connection, as PMD's EPMD duo with Erick Sermon dropped their third studio album Business As Usual in partnership with Def Jam in 1990.

Other special guests on this 15th studio effort include funk pioneer George Clinton, DJ Premier and Cypress Hill. Assisting the "Fight The Power" 2020 remix that opened the BET Awards this past June are Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, Jahi, YG and Questlove. Let's go!