From what I’ve read, Public Enemy and Anthrax have done a lot of touring together. In fact, Public Enemy was the first rap group to tour extensively with a heavy metal band. As Scott Ian, the rhythm guitarist for Anthrax, put it, “We were fans of Public Enemy and they were fans of ours, so we decided to get together.” By the way, that’s not an exact quote but it conveys the gist of what he said in the liner notes of Anthrax’s greatest hits album Return of the Killer A’s.
Anyway, I guess it’s no surprise that the two bands joined forces in studio and recorded a song. In fact, they recorded a cover of Public Enemy’s song “Bring the Noise” and thus created one of the first serious rap-metal songs. I specify it as being “serious” because before “Bring the Noise” Anthrax recorded “I’m the Man,” which is a rap-metal song that’s pretty tongue-in-cheek. Before that Run DMC and Aerosmith did a cover of “Walk this Way,” but it wasn’t nearly as influential as “Bring the Noise.” After Public Enemy and Anthrax recorded that song, rap-metal slowly started to form as its own genre, especially when Biohazard entered the scene.
I know a lot of people hate rap-metal. I’ve heard it being compared to disco: something trendy that will disappear after a few years and then will be looked at as a stain on music history. But hell, I like disco. Even K.C. and the Sunshine band who composed one song and then rewrote the lyrics each time they recorded it. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Try singing “That’s the Way I Like It” while “Shake Your Booty” is playing or vice versa.
Alright, I got a little tangental there, but what I’m really trying to say is that rap-metal is pretty much just another pop music trend that came and is on its way out. Just like alternative rock and grunge. They’ve had their time and now emo’s the big thing in rock. And that will eventually head out the door once the next trend comes along. But honestly, I don’t think any trend truly disappears. For example, I think some of ABBA’s classic material sounds very similar to today’s dance-pop from artists like Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson. Influences are always left behind, bands stick around, genres change, and music evolves.
Okay, I got tangental again. Let’s avoid further tangents and just say that whether you love or hate rap-metal, you’ll love “Bring the Noise” because it was awesome enough to inspire an entire genre. Much like the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix inspired kids to go out and start forming bands of their own so they could be a part of this whole rock ‘n roll thing. And “Bring the Noise” features two of the greatest and most influential bands of their time collaborating on one song. The song just plain rocks.
By the way, both albums feature “Bring the Noise.” Support whichever band you like best… or both. And I hope you found my tangents entertaining.