The was no sympathy for the devil as the original street fighting man of hip hop, Chuck D and the rest of Public Enemy brought the noise to West Holts Stage in a blistering set to headline Saturday’s line-up. Under cover of the night and with thundering bass galloping across the West Holts field like a pack of wild horses, Public Enemy brought frenzied energy and passion to give satisfaction to the massive and devoted hip hop crowd that were bouncing, hands aloft in front of the stage.
Chuck D was without Griff and, due to an immigration glitch, Flavor Flav, something that prompted Chuck D to launch a tirade at the crowd, shouting “The government want to separate people but the world should have access for all people!”
So, whilst you can’t always get what you want, there was no doom and gloom in sight as Chuck D, like an energetic jumpin jack, brought enough passion and presence to more than make up for the absence of his glimmer twins. Despite reaching their 25th anniversary, there was no sign that Public Enemy has mellowed in the slightest. Running through hits like Don’t Believe the Hype, Bring the Noise and I Shall Not Be Moved, Chuck paid homage to hip-hop culture, from MCs to graffiti artists, including acknowledging the talent and influence of the UK on hip hop music.
And speaking of talent, a special mention must go to Public Enemy’s DJ Lord who gave a frenzied performance on the decks sampling even Nirvana and AC/DC to keep the crowd jumping. And boy were they jumping as Public Enemy made a genuine connection with fans, even stopping for pictures with young and old before they left backstage.
Of course, it’s all over now, but on Saturday night, the Rolling Stones of Hip Hop (Chuck D’s words) proved they’re worthy of their status in the Rock n’ Roll hall of fame.