As a kid growing up in Freeport New York, Public Enemy has always held a special place in my childhood and music collection. Regardless of any controversey over the years, Flavor Flav has always been a sort of hometown hero, part of the family that is Freeport – atleast to those that love hip hop. Then you have Chuck D as well as Terminator X both of whom hail from neighboring town Roosevelt. Remember the video for ‘Can’t Do Nothin’ For You Man’? It was filmed all around Freeport with some clips shot literally around the block from my house.
As a teenager working at a restaurant by the name of Earharts (now Jeremy’s ale house) there was the day in 1997 that Chuck D and his manager walked in on a slow night. At the end of his meal he happily chatted with the small staff that was on that night -one of which was me – and happily signed a paper plate (which I still have).
Fast forward to 2016 and PE’s presence seems to be just as important as it was in the late 80’s through the 90’s. It’s message of unity apparent in the diverse crowd that showed up for a free concert Tuesday Night at Betsy Head Park in Brownsville Brooklyn.
Drawing crowd’s of both young and old the atmosphere was live and you knew that when you arrived at the park history was going to be made. First, you were greeted by about 100 individuals swarming the streets on bike as part of the Public Enemy ride out in collaboration with SE Bikes.
Then there was the crowd warm up which included a bunch of classic jams that you may or may have never heard of -depending on your age and or the extent of your Hip Hop and R&B knowledge- followed by two opening acts that were full of energy and talent one of which was OBEAH hailing from ATL -that despite some technical difficulties CRUSHED his set-.
After much anticipation Chuck D and Flav casually walked out on stage building up to a performance that would go down as historic.
Flav dedicated the night to a friend that had recently passed
and the PE family performed the classics. It was hot, humid, energetic and peaceful and was perfection in the eyes of a guy that grew up in an era of Hip Hop legends.
The only disappointment of the night? Well, that came courtesy of some type of mix up with Summer Stages PR reps which unfortunately deaded an interview opp with Chuck and Flav (fortunately allowing for press access to the stage) but I wasn’t walking away without a flik of myself with the legends
All in all if you have the opportunity to see PE live, do it and in the words of Flav Peace & Unity to all.