Saturday Night: Public Enemy Rocks the Pulpit at Yoshi's

Public Enemy

January 15, 2011

@ Yoshi's SF

Better than: VH1 marathons.

Twenty-four years, 12 albums, and 71 tours into the hip-hop evangelism project known on multiple levels as Public Enemy, there's little left to be said about the resonance of the group's songbook and the significance of social landscape-altering songs such as “Fight the Power,” “The Terror Dome,” and “Don't Believe the Hype.” This outfit's music has inspired a generation of politically charged rappers and artists working in various mediums and styles — all with a similar ideology.

This weekend at Yoshi's — an increasingly hip-hop-focused venue, but also a vibrant epicenter of the S.F. jazz scene — Public Enemy squeezed four shows into two nights, running through a Cliff's Notes version of its catalog. The emphasis was on the hits in this shortened format, but what really struck a chord Saturday night were long-winded sermons delivered by the two Public Enemies-In-Chief: Chuck D and Flavor Flav.

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