Public Enemy Open BET Awards With Star-Studded 'Fight the Power' Remix - Rolling Stone
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BET Awards: Public Enemy Recruit Nas, Black Thought for Star-Studded ‘Fight the Power’ Remix

YG and Rapsody also add topical, empowering verses to rap group’s classic song

Public Enemy recreated their classic “Fight the Power” video with footage from the George Floyd Protests to open the 2020 BET Awards. The iconic rap group were joined by a star-studded line-up of artists to help update the song with timely verses.

Chuck D and Flavor Flav reunited for the show, acting as a liaison between the additional verses on the song. Nas, Rapsody, YG, the Roots’ Black Thought and Questlove and Jahi from Public Enemy Radio are among the stellar crew of legends and newcomers to add new lyrics pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests that have been occurring across the country for weeks in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and other Black victims killed by police officers.

“They say a suicide when dead bodies are swinging / Cowards are hunting Black men that’s what I’m seeing,” Nas rhymes, while Rapsody invokes the backstories behind the killings of Floyd, Taylor and Rayshard Brooks. 

Public Enemy squabbled publicly this year over Bernie Sanders. Flavor Flav was allegedly fired from the group following a disagreement over Chuck D performing at Sanders rally under Public Enemy’s name. Chuck D later tried to claim the split was a hoax to “highlight media bias towards reporting bad news about hip-hop.” The dubious claim was further debunked when Flavor Flav released his own statement denying these claims and adding “I am not a part of your hoax.”

 

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