The second of two 2012 releases from Public Enemy, “Evil Empire of Everything” marks the hip–hop icons’ 12th studio album. Active for a full 30 years, Public Enemy is finally starting to show their age. The politically–conscious lyrics that put them on the map are no less relevant or insightful than they were in 1982, and the beats are still funky. However, you can tell when listening to “Evil Empire of Everything” that this is a group that was formed in the 80s: the rapping is less rhythmically inventive than what 2012 hip–hop demands, and the beats come across as slightly antiquated. It’s not bad — not by any stretch of the imagination. Cameos as diverse as Ziggy Marley on “Don’t Give Up the Fight” and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine fame and Henry Rollins of Black Flag on “Riotstarted” succeed in providing much–needed sparks. Ultimately, however, unless you’re a big fan of 80s hip–hop, this album will likely disappoint.

2.5/5 Stars


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