Public Enemy ‘It Takes A Nation’ 35th anniversary re-issue includes bonus tracks

The album turns 35 this year, and the reissue also lands during the 50th anniversary of the hip-hop genre.

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Chuck D and Flavour Flav on stage in 2023. Chuck D wears an all black outfit, whilst Flavour Flav is dressed in silver. They both hold microphones.

Image: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Public Enemy are set to reissue their 1988 sophomore album, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. The record celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

The reissue is also being launched in honour of the 50th anniversary of the hip-hop genre, and it lands on 10 November.

The release can be purchased as either a two or four LP set, with the latter set containing bonus tracks from the deluxe CD including instrumental and acapella mixes. It also includes linear notes from founding members Chuck D and Flavor Flav.

“Thanks to Run-DMC, LL Cool J and Whodini, we knew that hip-hop albums could explode on cassettes,” says Chuck D in a statement (via NME).

“At about the same time, [The Bomb Squad producer] Hank Shocklee was the manager of a record store, and he would point out how rock bands like Iron Maiden, The Rolling Stones, and even Bruce Springsteen were getting the most out of the album concept.

“So, we took that and went further with It Takes a Nation, approaching it like a rock band. It ended up becoming a part of rap’s evolution from a singles-driven genre into the dawn of rap’s album age.”

Back in June, Hank Shocklee explained how he used sampling techniques in Public Enemy. “Everything that we wanted to do had to be made from records. So, that taught us a certain understanding of textures,” he said in an interview with “We never looked at records as something to jack. We looked at it for what kind of a texture that we can extract from it.”

He later added, “In other words, it’s creating our own instrument out of the sound, as opposed to having the sound become the instrument.”

You can pre-order the 35th-anniversary edition of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back now on either black or translucent red vinyl via


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