Public Enemy has brought their single “Grid” to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The track comes from the group’s new album, What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down, which was released on September 25.
Flavor Flav and Chuck D performed “Grid” alongside funk legend George Clinton and Cypress Hill’s B-Real, creating a super-group on stage.
What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down is Public Enemy’s first release under Def Jam Recordings in more than 20 years. Their last release under the label was the 1998 soundtrack to He Got Game.
“Def Jam is like the house we grew up in. It’s cool to be home,” Flavor Flav said of the return.
“Cultural institutions are important. Being an integral part of one is an honor bestowed and to uphold,” Chuck D stated. “Public Enemy songs are forever sonic prints in the sands of time. And it’s time – it’s necessary – to bring the noise again from a place called home. Def Jam. Fight The Power 2020.”
In addition to George Clinton and Cypress Hill’ contributions to “Grid,” What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down includes guests appearances from Rhapsody, Beastie Boys’ Mike D and Ad-Rock, The Roots’ Black Thought and Questlove, and hip-hop legends Nas, DJ Premier, Ice-T, and Run-DMC.
“The fact that Chuck D and Flavor Flav remain at once hopeful and skeptical, honoring their own past and the music’s while pushing it forward, is a huge part of this record’s passionate, agitating, cranky energy,” Rolling Stone said of the album.
Earlier this year, Public Enemy released a remix of their classic hit “Fight The Power” featuring Nas, Black Thought, Rapsody, YG, and Jahi.
“Since ‘Fight The Power’ first came out in ‘89, a lot of people have been born and a lot of people have died,” Chuck D told NME in a new interview. “You still attack the ills and the -isms with the same vigor, but you can’t say: ‘Damn, didn’t we do this before?’ The way I look at it is there are people that haven’t gone through this at all, so why not bring some of the things we’ve done before back in a new language? It’s a long life.”
What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down can be bought here.