Yo! Bum Rush the Show

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Yo! Bum Rush the Show
Yo! Bum Rush the Show.jpg
Studio album by Public Enemy
Released February 10, 1987
Recorded 1986
Studio Spectrum City Studios, Hempstead, New York
Genre Hip hop
Length 46:44
Public Enemy chronology
Yo! Bum Rush the Show
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
(1988)It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back1988
Singles from Yo! Bum Rush the Show[1]
  1. "Public Enemy No. 1"
    Released: March 1987
  2. "You're Gonna Get Yours"
    Released: May 1987

Yo! Bum Rush the Show is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released on February 10, 1987 by Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records.[1] The group's logo, a silhouette of a black man in a rifle's crosshairs, debuted on the album's cover.[2] Yo! Bum Rush the Show features a sample-heavy sound by production team The Bomb Squad.

The album peaked at number 125 on the US Billboard Top LPs chart and number 28 on the Top Black Albums chart.[3] NME magazine named it the best album of the year in its 1987 critics poll.[4] Along with the Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986) and LL Cool J's Radio (1985), music writer Cheo H. Coker cited Yo! Bum Rush the Show as one of three of the most influential albums in hip hop history.[5] 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.[6]


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".[2] Yo! Bum Rush the Show debuts The Bomb Squad's sample-heavy production style, which is prominent on the group's following work.[7] 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.[8] 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".[8] The album's sound is accented by the scratching of DJ Terminator X.[9] 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".[10]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[11]
Christgau's Record GuideB+[12]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[13]
The Guardian4/5 stars[14]
Q4/5 stars[16]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[17]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[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]

1."You're Gonna Get Yours"Chuck D, Hank Shocklee4:04
2."Sophisticated Bitch"Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee4:30
3."Miuzi Weighs a Ton"Chuck D, Shocklee5:44
4."Timebomb"Chuck D, Shocklee2:54
5."Too Much Posse"Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee2:25
6."Rightstarter (Message to a Black Man)"Chuck D, Shocklee3:48
7."Public Enemy No. 1"Chuck D, Shocklee4:41
8."M.P.E."Chuck D, Drayton, Flav, Shocklee 3:07
9."Yo! Bum Rush the Show"Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee4:25
10."Raise the Roof"Chuck D, Eric Sadler, Shocklee5:18
11."Megablast"Chuck D, Flav, Shocklee2:51
12."Terminator X Speaks with His Hands"Chuck D, Flav, Sadler, Shocklee2:13
Total length:50:48



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


  1. ^ a b Strong (2004), p. 1226.
  2. ^ a b Pareles, Jon. Review: Apocalypse 91 ... the Enemy Strikes Black. The New York Times. Retrieved on December 6, 2009.
  3. ^ a b Billboard Albums: Revolverlution. Allmusic. Retrieved on January 8, 2010.
  4. ^ Staff. Albums of the Year Critic Poll. NME. Retrieved on December 6, 2009.
  5. ^ Coker, Cheo H. "What a Rush". Vibe: 86–90. December 1995.
  6. ^ Staff. RS500: 497) Yo! Bum Rush the Show. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on December 6, 2009.
  7. ^ Columnist. Hip-Hop's Greatest Year: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on December 6, 2009.
  8. ^ a b Brown, Joe. "A Bestiary of Beastly Boys". The Washington Post: n.15. April 3, 1987.
  9. ^ Jenkins, Mark. "Review: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". The Washington Post: d.07. July 1, 1987.
  10. ^ Brogan, Daniel. "Review: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Chicago Tribune: 48. April 3, 1987.
  11. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Yo! Bum Rush the Show – Public Enemy". AllMusic. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  12. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-73015-X. Retrieved January 21, 2017. 
  13. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8. 
  14. ^ Wasir, Burhan (July 21, 1995). "Reissues: Public Enemy". The Guardian. 
  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. ^ Relic, Peter (2004). "Public Enemy". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 661–662. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  18. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). "Public Enemy". Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8. 
  19. ^ Hartwig, Andrew (January 16, 2005). "Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Public Enemy on WhoSampled". WhoSampled. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 


  • 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 1-84195-615-5. 

External links[edit]