Friday, 16 November 2012

P.E.T.V.


Before long there were three different music videos for songs off of the new Public Enemy album, and I was fortunate enough to catch them on Rap City. To be quite honest with you, I'm not sure how I over looked the fact that Rap City existed until mentioning it at this point in the story, so lets have a quick history lesson.

According to Wikipedia the show began several years after MuchMusic first went on the air in 1984, so perhaps I didn't over look it since it more than likely did start airing somewhere between 1987 and 1988. The show featured selections of the newest and vintage music videos from Canadian and American hip hop artists. At the time there was nothing like it in existence. The show was created by producer/director Michele Geister after petitioning that a show of this nature was overdue for the Canadian market as well as the stations credibility. The show was the first of its kind in Canada and it also predates any of MTV's black music programs.

The first P.E. video I happened to catch was for the song "Don't Believe The Hype" and visually there wasn't much to it. The band was performing a live concert and the song had been over dubbed. The film quality wasn't the greatest but it was cool to see it none the less.


The next video to drop was for the track "Night of the living base heads" and let me tell you it definitely made up for the lack of effort and creativity that the first video suffered from. This one was a masterpiece, presenting itself as a tv channel with news anchors and commercials. Base heads are exposed, beeper ties are advertised, and the groups front man Chuck D is captured by a racist anti rap group known as the Brown Bags.


The third video was for the song "Black steel in the hour of chaos" which had actually become one of my favourite tracks on the album. The story Chuck told in his lyrics was very powerful and illustrated the story without a video very clearly in my mind. Chuck receives a letter from the government issuing a draft order for the army which he declines and consequently lands him in jail. From there Chuck is left to fend for his life and try to plan an escape. After seeing the video for my first time i quickly noted that it was just as powerful as the song.


It was a great album and I was very thankful the group released three videos in such a short span of time. I ended up getting a P.E.shirt for $5.00 from my favourite head shop and I wore it proudly...despite the mixed reactions from certain cliques at my school, including thrashers, skin heads and "the brothers"

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