There's a Poison Goin' On

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There's a POISON Goin' On...
Studio album by Public Enemy
Released July 20, 1999
Recorded 1998–1999
Genre Political hip hop,[1] hardcore hip hop [1]
Length 51:45
Label Play It Again Sam, Atomic Pop
Producer Tom E. Hawk, Flavor Flav
Public Enemy chronology
He Got Game
(1998)He Got Game1998
There's a Poison Goin' On
Singles from There's a Poison Goin' On[2]
  1. "Do You Wanna Go Our Way???"
    Released: September 1999

There's a Poison Goin' On is the seventh studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released July 20, 1999 on Atomic Pop Records in the United States. Its title is adapted from the title of Sly & the Family Stone's album There's a Riot Goin' On (1971). The album was originally made available through the Internet on May 18, 1999, via the now defunct Atomic Pop website.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press4/5[4]
The Austin Chronicle3.5/5 stars[5]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(1-star Honorable Mention)[6]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[7]
Muzik5/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2.5/5 stars[11]
USA Today3/4 stars[12]

In a positive review, Alternative Press said There's a Poison Goin' On worked "best as an eyes-closed, headphones on high-volume experience. It takes extremely seriously the idea that hip hop should be consciousness-altering music",[4] while Greg Kot wrote in Rolling Stone, "there is some jigginess on this record....the emphasis is on sparser, more spacious mixes- less claustrophobic and dizzying...but still gripping."[10] The Wire deemed the album a comeback for Public Enemy and the group's most abrasive work since Fear of a Black Planet (1990).[13] Muzik found the music not only abrasive but also "defiant" and "provocative ... 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."[8] Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic in his consumer guide for The Village Voice, offering the one-line quip, "hating playas is fine, hating play amn't".[14] He cited "41:19" and "What What" as highlights and gave the album a one-star honorable mention, which indicated "a worthy effort consumers attuned to its overriding aesthetic or individual vision may well like".[6]

"Swindler's Lust" controversy[edit]

In June 1999, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) claimed that "Swindler's Lust" was "offensive", "outrageous", and "suggestive of age-old anti-Semitic themes and rhetoric". The organization sent a letter to Atomic Pop saying there were "classic anti-Semitic code words" and accusations toward "Jews for the plight of financially underprivileged Blacks" on the song, which was titled as a word play on the title of the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List. The record label responded in a letter stating the song had "no anti-Semitic references".[15]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Dark Side of the Wall: 2000" – 1:36
  2. "Do You Wanna Go Our Way???" – 3:56
  3. "LSD" – 3:30
  4. "Here I Go" – 3:05
  5. "41:19" – 3:57
  6. "Crash" – 3:48
  7. "Crayola" – 3:30
  8. "First the Sheep, Next the Shepherd?" – 3:17
  9. "World Tour Sessions" – 4:27
  10. "Last Mass of the Caballeros" – 3:56
  11. "I" – 4:30
  12. "What What" – 5:02
  13. "Kevorkian" – 2:37
  14. "Swindlers Lust" – 5:23
Bonus tracks

The album was reissued in 2004 via Koch with bonus tracks.

  1. "Do You Wanna Go Our Way??? (Nextmen UK Mixx)" – 4:18
  2. "Here I Go (Commissioned Mixx DJ Johnny Juice Vacation in Vietnam Florida Mix)" – 3:20
  3. "World Tour Sessions (G Wiz Black Planet Tour Mix)" – 3:35
  4. "I (Eye for an Eye Mixx)" – 5:43
  5. "Kill em Live" – 3:25


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Strong (2004), p. 1227.
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "There's a Poison Goin' On - Public Enemy". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  4. ^ a b Alternative Press: 119. November 1999. 
  5. ^ Gray, Christopher (1999-07-09). "Record Reviews (Public Enemy: There's a Poison Goin' On... (Atomic Pop))". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (2000). Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishers. pp. xvi, 256. ISBN 0312245602. 
  7. ^ Baker, Soren (1999-06-19). "Once More, Band Shows No Mercy Against the Bad Guys". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  8. ^ a b Muzik. London: 84. August 1999. 
  9. ^ Columnist. "Album Reviews - There's A Poison Goin On...". NME: June 8, 1999.
  10. ^ a b Kot, Greg (1999-08-05). "Public Enemy: There's A Poison Goin' On : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  11. ^ RS Album Guide review
  12. ^ Jones, Steve. "Public Enemy, There's a Poison Goin' On". USA Today: 10.D. July 27, 1999.
  13. ^ The Wire. London: 55. August 1999. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 2, 1999). "Hit It, How Hold It". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  15. ^ *[1] at Village Voice July 13, 1999/Profits of Rage


External links[edit]