Hearing safety is a serious issue for workers in many industries, including construction and other jobs that involve heavy machinery. This Song of the Week has probably contributed to the hearing loss of music fans: it’s the 1991 remake of “Bring the Noise” by Anthrax and Public Enemy.
Considered a historic team-up of artists from two different genres, the song was originally released by hip hop legends Public Enemy in 1987 for the soundtrack of the movie Less Than Zero and then included on the group’s classic 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. The song argues that rap and rock should be considered on equal footing as musical genres, and name-checks Anthrax, the New York thrash metal band that made no secret of its love of rap and Public Enemy in particular.
So it made sense for Anthrax to collaborate with Public Enemy on a metal-infused cover of “Bring the Noise,” which features Public Enemy’s Chuck D trading verses with Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian. The song ended up on both Anthrax’s Attack of the Killer B’s compilation and PE’s Apocalypse 91…The Enemy Strikes Black album, and the groups toured together following the song’s release. But it was the video for the song that found popularity on MTV’s metal and hip hop shows and led to more collaborations between the two genres. Soon after was the emergence of Rage Against the Machine, Ice-T’s Body Count and the Judgment Night soundtrack, which featured rap and rock collabs. And later in the ’90s, “nu metal” acts such as Korn, Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park combined elements of both genres and became extremely popular for a short while.
Regardless of how you feel about those later artists, there’s no denying the power and exhilaration generated by “Bring the Noise.” Just take care of those ears, won’t you?