Fear of a Black Planet
Fear of a Black Planet
Studio album by Public Enemy


April 10, 1990


June 1989 - February 1990


Greene St. Recording
(New York City, New York)
The Music Palace
(West Hempstead, Long Island)
Spectrum City Studios
(Long Island, New York)


Hardcore hip hop, political rap, East Coast hip hop




Def Jam Recordings / Columbia Records


The Bomb Squad

Fear of a Black Planet is the third studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released in April 10, 1990 on Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records. Produced by the group's production team The Bomb Squad, the production expands on the dense, sample-layered sound of Public Enemy's previous album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Having fulfilled their initial creative ambitions with that album, the group pursued a different direction and attempted to create what lead rapper Chuck D specified as "a deep, complex album". The songwriting was partly inspired by the controversy with member Professor Griff and his departure from the group in 1989 over his anti-Semitic comments.

The album features elaborate sound collages that incorporate varying rhythms, numerous samples, media sound bites, and eccentric music loops, and reflect the confrontational tone of the lyrical content. Conceived during hip hop's golden age, its collection of reconfigured and reassembled aural sources preceded the sample clearance system that later emerged in the music industry. Fear of a Black Planet contains themes concerning organisation and empowerment within the African-American community, while presenting criticism of social issues affecting African-Americans at the time of the album's conception.

In its first week, the album sold one million copies in the United States, where it charted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Fear of a Black Planet was praised by critics for its sonic quality, societal themes, and insightful lyrics, and was named one of the best albums of 1990. It has since been regonised as one of hip hop's greatest and most important albums, as well as being musically and culturally significant.

Track listingEdit

All songs produced by The Bomb Squad (Hank Shocklee, Carl Ryder, Eric (Vietnam) Sadler and Keith Shocklee).


Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Time
1. "Contract on the World Love Jam" - Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 1:49
2. "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 5:03
3. "911 Is a Joke" Flavor Flav Drayton, Sadler, Shocklee 3:17
4. "Incident at 66.6 FM" - Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 1:38
5. "Welcome to the Terrordome" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 5:26
6. "Meet the G That Killed Me" - Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 0:45
7. "Pollywanacraka" - Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 4:14
8. "Anti-N*!@% Machine" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 2:39
9. "Burn Hollywood Burn" Chuck D, Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane Hardy, Jackson, Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 3:04
10. "Power to the People" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 3:48
11. "Who Stole the Soul?" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 3:52
12. "Fear of a Black Planet" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 3:42
13. "Revolutionary Generation" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 5:43
14. "Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya Man" Flavor Flav Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 2:47
15. "Reggie Jax" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 1:36
16. "Leave This Off Your Fuckin Charts" - Rogers 2:31
17. "B Side Wins Again" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 3:46
18. "War at 33⅓" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 2:08

"Final Count of the Collision Between Us and the Damned"

- Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 0:49
20. "Fight the Power" Chuck D Ridenhour, Sadler, Shocklee 4:45


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