Yo! Bum Rush the Show

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"Public Enemy No. 1 (song)" redirects here. For other songs with this title, see Public Enemy No. 1.
Yo! Bum Rush the Show
Yo! Bum Rush the Show.jpg
Studio album by Public Enemy
Released February 10, 1987
Recorded 1986
Spectrum City Studios
(Hempstead, New York)
Genre Hip hop,[1] political hip hop, East Coast hip hop,[1] hardcore hip hop [1]
Length 46:44
Label Def Jam, Columbia
Producer Rick Rubin (exec.), Bill Stephney, The Bomb Squad
Public Enemy chronology
Yo! Bum Rush the Show
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Singles from Yo! Bum Rush the Show[2]
  1. "Public Enemy No. 1 (Public Enemy song)"
    Released: March 1987
  2. "You're Gonna Get Yours"
    Released: May 1987

Yo! Bum Rush the Show is the debut studio album of American hip hop group Public Enemy. The album was released on February 10, 1987 under Def Jam Recordings.[2] The group's logo, a silhouette of a black man in a rifle's crosshairs, debuted on the album's cover.[3] Yo! Bum Rush the Show features a sample-heavy sound by production team The Bomb Squad.

The album peaked at number 125 on the U.S. Billboard Top LPs chart and at number 28 on the Top Black Albums chart.[4] NME magazine named it the best album of the year in its 1987 critics poll.[5] Along with the Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986) and LL Cool J's Radio (1985), music writer Cheo H. Coker has cited Yo! Bum Rush the Show as one of three of the most influential albums in hip hop history.[6] In 1998, it was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2003, the album was ranked number 497 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[7]


According to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, "From its first album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987, the group marketed itself as a distillation of black anger and resistance. It set out to be the voice of a community, not just one more posse of boasters".[3] Yo! Bum Rush the Show debuts The Bomb Squad's sample-heavy production style, which is prominent on the group's following work.[8] Joe Brown of The Washington Post described the album's music as "a more serious brand of inner-city aggression", in comparison to Licensed to Ill (1986) by Def Jam label-mates the Beastie Boys.[9] On its musical style, Brown wrote "Public Enemy's mean and minimalist rap is marked by an absolute absence of melody - the scary sound is just a throbbing pulse, hard drums and a designed-to-irritate electronic whine, like a dentist's drill or a persistent mosquito".[9] The album's sound is accented by the scratching of DJ Terminator X.[10] Chicago Tribune writer Daniel Brogan described Public Enemy's style on the album as "raw and confrontational", writing that the group "doesn't aim to -- or have a chance at -- crossing over".[11]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[12]
Christgau's Record Guide B+[13]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[14]
NME 9/10[15]
Q 4/5 stars[16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[17]
Sputnikmusic 5/5[18]
  • Q magazine (9/95, p. 132) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a stunning opening...just the first, in retrospect almost shy, step on a remarkable journey...a hard, droning extension of the basic drum`n'scratch Def Jam template that had served LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys so well."
  • Melody Maker (7/22/95, p. 35) - Recommended - "It wasn't just a new sound, a discovery. It was like being struck by a meteor."
  • NME (9/25/93, p. 19) - Ranked #49 in NME's list of The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s.
  • NME (7/15/95, p. 47) - 9 (out of 10) - "Yo! Bum Rush The Show announced a hip-hop group who smouldered beneath dark, sparse beats like no other, introduced us to the coolest vocal double act ever...and featured as striking a statement of intent as you could wish for in `Public Enemy Number 1'....brilliant."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Sample(s)[19] Length
1. "You're Gonna Get Yours" Chuck D, Hank Shocklee 4:04
2. "Sophisticated Bitch" Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee 4:30
3. "Miuzi Weighs a Ton" Chuck D, Shocklee 5:44
4. "Timebomb" Chuck D, Shocklee 2:54
5. "Too Much Posse" Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee 2:25
6. "Rightstarter (Message to a Black Man)" Chuck D, Shocklee 3:48
7. "Public Enemy No. 1" Chuck D, Shocklee 4:41
8. "M.P.E." Chuck D, Drayton, Flav, Shocklee   3:07
9. "Yo! Bum Rush the Show" Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee 4:25
10. "Raise the Roof" Chuck D, Eric Sadler, Shocklee 5:18
11. "Megablast" Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee 2:51
12. "Terminator X Speaks with His Hands" Chuck D, Flav, Sadler, Shocklee 2:13
Total length: 50:48



Chart (1987–88) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top LPs 125
U.S. Billboard Top Black Albums 28


  1. ^ a b c http://www.allmusic.com/album/yo%21-bum-rush-the-show-mw0000194784
  2. ^ a b Strong (2004), p. 1226.
  3. ^ a b Pareles, Jon. Review: Apocalypse 91... the Enemy Strikes Black. The New York Times. Retrieved on 2009-12-06.
  4. ^ a b Billboard Albums: Revolverlution. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-01-08.
  5. ^ Staff. Albums of the Year Critic Poll. NME. Retrieved on 2009-12-06.
  6. ^ Coker, Cheo H. "What a Rush". Vibe: 86–90. December 1995.
  7. ^ Staff. RS500: 497) Yo! Bum Rush the Show. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-12-06.
  8. ^ Columnist. Hip-Hop's Greatest Year: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2009-12-06.
  9. ^ a b Brown, Joe. "A Bestiary of Beastly Boys". The Washington Post: n.15. April 3, 1987.
  10. ^ Jenkins, Mark. "Review: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". The Washington Post: d.07. July 1, 1987.
  11. ^ Brogan, Daniel. "Review: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Chicago Tribune: 48. April 3, 1987.
  12. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Yo! Bum Rush the Show – Public Enemy". AllMusic. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  13. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 067973015X. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  14. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-857-12595-8. 
  15. ^ "Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". NME: 47. July 15, 1995. 
  16. ^ "Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Q (108): 132. September 1995. 
  17. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 661–662. ISBN 0-743-20169-8. 
  18. ^ Hartwig, Andrew (January 16, 2005). "Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Public Enemy on WhoSampled". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2015-11-03. 


  • Nathan Brackett, Christian Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  • Strong, Martin Charles (October 21, 2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Canongate U.S. ISBN 1841956155. 

External links[edit]