Best Example of Hip-Hop Growing Up: Public Enemy
Until fairly recently, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has had an arms-length relationship with rap music, but as hip-hop gradually grows up, former standard bearers like Public Enemy become – dare to believe it – family friendly, so much so that at one point hypeman Flavor Flav endearingly apologized for accidentally yelling a curse word. Plenty about P.E. is still the same, though: Chuck D still gives rousing calls to political action, Terminator X can still cut up a record like nobody’s business, the militaristic step dancers are still out in force and almost 25 years later, "Fight the Power" can still raise chills on the back of your neck. Hopefully as rap acts continue to grow up and stick around, Jazz Fest will open its arms wider for a full embrace.