Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Public Enemy: How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? [Slamjamz, 2007]
Not only are their albums still good, they're getting better. Beats keep changing, too. Most of these are by the kind of heavy guitar-bass-drums unit Chuck D has coveted since Anthrax-the-band was bigger than anthrax-the-disease, and intermittently there are also uncredited horns, keyb effects, scratching and backup singers, like the child chorus who recites the message of "Sex, Drugs and Violence": "We like those gangsta rhymes/Just make sure they don't corrupt our minds/These rappers kill and thieve/A lot of times it's only make believe." Flav remains a knave on TV and the king's fool in PE. And though the title's moral braggadocio has been one of Chuck's more pigheaded tropes since he was dissing soaps, the Don Imus flap has imparted to him an aura of contemporaneity that comes none too soon. A-