Rolling Stone (8/5/99, p. 64) - 3½ stars (out of 5) - "...there is some jigginess on this record....the emphasis is on sparser, more spacious mixes- less claustrophobic and dizzying...but still gripping."
Alternative Press (11/99, p. 119) - 4 out of 5 - "...the still-strident PE are back....best as an eyes-closed, headphones on high-volume experience. It takes extremely seriously the idea that hip hop should be consciousness-altering music..."
The Wire (8/99, p. 55) - "Public Enemy are back and this time it's personal....Everyone...finds themselves caught in Chuck's rhetorical crosshairs and no one survives intact....this is the loudest, noisest Public Enemy album in nine years."
Muzik (8/99, p. 84) - 5 stars (out of 5) - "...defiant, provocative and reassuringly abrasive music....this album is a treat....Poison is vintage PE, all the more welcome at a time when there had seemed to be no one left who was prepared to make rational, thoughtful, incisive hip-hop."
Robert Christgau gave the album a one-star honorable mention () and said, "Hating playas is fine, hating play amn't."