Public Enemy Return To Def Jam For Their First New Album In 20 Years

Pioneering hip-hop group Public Enemy is returning to the record label where they first brought their revolutionary message to the world for a new album due this fall, the group announced via press release this Friday. The new project will be called What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down and will be released September 25 through Def Jam Recordings. The group also retroactively made their “Fight The Power” remix from the BET Awards the first single and officially released it for streaming.

The remix features verses from Black Thought, Jahi, Nas, Rapsody, and YG, with DJ cuts from Questlove. It was first performed at the beginning of this year’s BET Awards to honor the protests against police violence that preceded the awards show and have continued throughout the summer. Public Enemy’s 1989 message has resonated ever since, with protestors adopting the song as an unofficial theme.

The announcement is a 180-degree turnaround from where the band was to start the year. In March, the group announced it had “fired” longtime member and co-founder Flavor Flav over skipping a performance at a Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles. Then, later the same month, Chuck D said that he’d actually used the announcement to generate attention for the group’s new single. Although some grumbled, it apparently worked; the group’s been talked about more this year than it has in a decade, just in time to soundtrack a new revolution.

Listen to “Fight The Power: Remix 2020” above.

What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down is due 9/25 via Def Jam.