Man Plans God Laughs - Rolling Stone
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Man Plans God Laughs

The loudest voices in hip-hop aren’t getting any quieter

chuck d and flavor flav

Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy perform at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 6th, 2015.

Ethan Miller/Getty

"Here we come from another time," Chuck D raps on Public Enemy's 13th studio album. In fact, PE's iconic rap radicalism is as timely as ever in the era of Black Lives Matter, and a couple of tracks here push an argument for their relevance by echoing the spacey minimalism of today's hip-hop. But 55-year-old Chuck D and 56-year-old Flavor Flav are at their best flying the old-school flag, kicking Afrocentric rage over chaotically noisy tracks like "Praise the Loud" or the low-slung funk of "Give Peace a Damn." If their voices sound a little worn, blame the apathetic fools Chuck attacks in the Rolling Stones-sampling "Honky Talk Rules" for not heeding his message years ago.

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