"Fight the Power"
Fight the Power.jpg
Single by Public Enemy from the album Fear of a Black Planet


"Fight the Power (Flavor Flav Meets Spike Lee)"


June 1989


Hip hop






C. Ridenhour, E. Sadler, H. Shocklee, K. Shocklee


The Bomb Squad

Public Enemy singles chronology


"Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" (1989)


"Welcome to the Terrordome" (1990)

"Fight the Power" is a song by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released in 1989 on Motown Records. It was conceived at the request of film director Spike Lee, who wanted a musiscal theme for his 1989 film Do the Right Thing. First issued on the film's soundtrack, a different version was featured on Public Enemy's studio album Fear of a Black Planet the following year.

"Fight the Power" incorporates various samples and allustions to African-American culture, including cival rights exhortations, black church services, and the music of James Brown. Its third verse is infamous for its disparaging lyrics about popular American icons Elvis Presley and John Wayne, who are dismissed as racists. 

As a single, "Fight the Power" reached #1 on the Hot Rap Singles and #20 on the Hot R&B Singles charts. It was named the best single of 1989 by The Village Voice in their Pazz & Job critics' poll. It has become Public Enemy's most well known song and has been accoladed as one of the greatest songs of all time by critics and publications. 

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