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Public Enemy Will Release a New Album on Def Jam at the Perfect Time

Photo: Frank Hoensch/Getty Images

The last time Public Enemy released an album on Def Jam — the last time the rap group was truly on top of its game — it was 1998, and the country hadn’t even seen George W. Bush yet, let alone Donald Trump. The group has since continued to release music on a hodgepodge of labels, with none landing quite like their earlier work. (To be clear, they’re already icons.) But now Chuck D, DJ Lord, and, yes, Flavor Flav are back on Def Jam for the first time in over 20 years, and releasing new music right when the country needs it most. What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down is out September 25, and features the group’s previous Juneteenth single “State of the Union (STFU).” “State of the Union” took clear aim at Trump — “Vote this joke out, or die tryin’,” Chuck D raps — so expect more of the same from What You Gonna Do. “It’s time — it’s necessary — to bring the noise again from a place called home,” Chuck D said in a press release. “Def Jam. Fight the Power 2020.” Flavor Flav added, “Def Jam is like the house we grew up in. It’s cool to be home.”

Public Enemy Will Release a New Album at the Perfect Time