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- Public Enemy: Chuck D, Flavor Flav (vocals); Norman "Terminator X" Rogers (scratches); Professor Griff (background vocals); The Security Of The First World.
- Additional personnel: Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, Hank Shocklee (programming); Johnny Juice Rosado (scratches); The Black To The Future Sample Stars (background vocals).
- Engineers include: Nick Sansano, Matt Tritto, Chris Shaw.
- Recorded at Greene Street Recording, Chung King House Of Metal, New York, New York, Sabella Recording, Roslyn, New York & Spectrum City Studios, Hempstead, New York.
- The title says it all. In 1988, when this album was released, Public Enemy's music cut with a wholly revolutionary edge. Rarely has fear, anger, paranoia and anxiety been so masterfully compressed onto a record's grooves. The Bomb Squad's artistry is the keynote to the hard, lean delivery, while Chuck D's supremely pointed lyrics leave no stone of the black experience unturned. It is not comfortable listening, but on tracks such as 'Don't Believe The Hype', 'Night Of The Living Baseheads' and 'Rebel Without A Pause' the listener is left in no doubt that they are facing a fantastically potent force.
Rolling Stone (11/89) - Ranked #12 in Rolling Stone's "100 Best Albums Of The Eighties" survey.
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.110) - Ranked #48 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...Loud, obnoxious, funky, avant-garde, political, uncompromising, hilarious..."
Spin - Included in Spin's list of the Top Ten College Cult Classics - "...In any context, a revolutionary work..."
Spin (12/03, p.122) - "...NATION OF MILLIONS lived up to its hype and then some..."
Q (10/01, p.44) - Ranked #47 in Q's "Best 50 Albums of Q's Lifetime"
Q (9/95, p.132) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "...the greatest rap album of all time, a landmark and classic...."
Q (p.140) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Packed full of loud, obnoxious classics....You really should own this by now."
Alternative Press (11/00, p.144) - Included in AP's "10 Essential Political-Revolution Albums"
Alternative Press (8/01, p.112) - Included in AP's "10 Essential '80s Albums".
Alternative Press (7/95, pp.76-77) - Ranked #6 in AP's list of the 'Top 99 Of '85-'95' - "...After IT TAKES A NATION OF MILLIONS TO HOLD US BACK, rap couldn't just be stupid and boom and yelp--it had to have production values and 'relevance'..."
Vibe (12/99, p.158) - Included in Vibe's 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century
Vibe (6/02, p.108) - Ranked #1 in Vibe's "Top 10 rap albums".
Melody Maker (7/22/95, p.35) - Bloody Essential - "...I hadn't believed it could get harder [than YO! BUM RUSH THE SHOW]. Or better....It was like being beaten over the head in four/four time with a skip..."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/00, pp.124-5) - "...Responsible for the angriest polemic since The Last Poets....[They] revolutionized the music, using up to 80 backing tracks in the sonic assault....to these ears PE sound like the greatest rock'n'roll band in history."
NME (Magazine) (9/25/93, p.18) - Ranked #5 in NME's list of The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s - "...[IT TAKES A NATION...] drags punk, rock, and hip-hop screaming towards the end of the century....Definitive..."
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #9 in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
NME (Magazine) (7/15/95, p.47) - 10 (out of 10) - "...the greatest hip-hop album ever....this wasn't merely a sonic triumph. This was also where Chuck wrote a fistful of lyrics that promoted him to the position of foremost commentator/documentor of life in the underbelly of the USA...."
Pitchfork (Website) - "The early Public Enemy masterpieces remain unique and inimitable now, relics of a world irreparably changed though in a few notable ways, very much the same."