Hip Hop Video Of The Day: Public Enemy – Night Of The Living Baseheads (1988)

1988… this was the year that my relationship with hip hop went from casual friends to my BFF. I had messed around enough with a poorly dubbed copy of “Licensed To Ill” and a bootleg of “Tougher Than Leather” found at a Gold Coast flea market that I know that I had found my aural cocaine. I was hooked but in 1988 where was a 15-year-old kid from Brisbane going to get his next fix? Luckily in the city lay my pusher – Rocking Horse Records, which stocked a few locally released hip hop albums and for a slightly exorbitant fee (to a school kid at least) would import non-locally released albums. At my musical Mecca I also met The Source magazine which strongly dictated my purchases for the next decade and introduced me to many artists especially those outside of the New York and Los Angeles strong holds.

I often wonder about kids coming up in 2009 exposed initially to artists such as Soulja Boy compared with the greats of the late 1980’s that I was initiated with. They say that hip hop is dead and I guess in this respect maybe it is but I still believe that it is the dilution of quality hip hop by the great slew of artists able to distribute via the internet that is giving this impression.

So back to 1988. Following the Run DMC and Beastie Boys baptism, my next album was an all time classic, Public Enemy’s “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”. I had seen “Night Of The Living Baseheads” on MTV and knew these guys were bringing a much more political message than Run DMC and the Beasties. The concepts of PETV and the S1W’s were so next level and when added to Chuck’s commanding delivery and Flav’s buffoonery it made for a powerful combination. But why take my word for it, here check it out for yourself…

Public Enemy – Night Of The Living Baseheads (1988)


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