Today in Hip Hop History‬: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

June 28th, 1988

‪Legendary political hip hop group Public Enemy released their second studio album, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”, through Def Jam Recordings / Columbia Records in 1988. The album was very well received by music critics, who cited its production techniques and the socially/politically charged lyricism of MC Chuck D.

Production on the album came from Chuck D, Hank Shocklee and Rick Rubin, the executive producer. Lyrically, Chuck D delivers narratives that are characterized by black ethnocentricity rhetoric, and regard topics such as self-empowerment, critiques of white supremacy, and challenges to exploitation in the music industry.

In 2003, the album was ranked #48 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking of all the hip hop albums on the list. “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” is regarded by many as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time.

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