By Pete Vonder Haar | November 3, 2004

PE’s new video, “Son of a Bush,” consists primarily of a nonstop parade of unpleasant factoids about the current and former Bush Administrations, presented in animated format by Memo Salazar and Film Shack. And when I say “nonstop,” I’m not kidding: information flows by on the bottom of the screen like a news ticker, while other tidbits appear at regular intervals on the screen. In the meantime, Chuck D and Flavor Flav lay down their anti-Bush lyrics. The end result is rather frustrating, as there’s really no way to absorb all that’s being presented in one viewing.

The song itself reminds you that Public Enemy was doing the hardcore rap thing earlier and better than anyone else, and PE remains one of the few hip-hop acts making political music. Still, the problem isn’t so much with the message as with the difficulties inherent in trying to encapsulate both Bush presidencies in a 3 1/2 minute song. That said, and while it may not be the strongest of their new material, it still touches on those things that make the best PE tracks so memorable: inflammatory lyrics, nontraditional production, and the dire urgency in Chuck D’s vocals.

Chuck D and company are obviously determined to remind their audience exactly how beholden Bush and Son are to their corporate masters, and he’s chosen the most direct route to get the information across. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of that information is what ultimately makes this clip less effective than the (similarly banned) “By the Time I Get to Arizona” or “Night of the Living Baseheads.”
Have you seen the video? Let’s hear about it at Back Talk>>>

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