Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man is a 2008 American science fiction superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Directed by Jon Favreau, the film stars Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark, an industrialist and master engineer who builds a powered exoskeleton and becomes the technologically advanced superhero, Iron Man. Gwyneth Paltrow plays his personal assistant Pepper Potts, Terrence Howard plays military liaison James Rhodes and Jeff Bridges plays Stark Industries executive Obadiah Stane.

The film was in development since 1990 at Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, and New Line Cinema, before Marvel Studios reacquired the rights in 2006. Marvel put the project in production as its first self-financed film. Favreau signed on as director, aiming for a naturalistic feel, and he chose to shoot the film primarily in California, rejecting the East Coast setting of the comics to differentiate the film from numerous superhero films set in New York City-esque environments. During filming, the actors were free to create their own dialogue because pre-production was focused on the story and action. Rubber and metal versions of the armors, created by Stan Winston's company, were mixed with computer-generated imagery to create the title character. Hasbro and Sega sold merchandise, and product placement deals were made with Audi, Burger King, LG and 7-Eleven.

Reviews were very positive, particularly praising Downey's performance. The American Film Institute selected the film as one of the ten best of the year. Downey, Favreau and Paltrow returned in the sequel Iron Man 2, released on May 7, 2010. Downey also made a cameo appearance as Stark in The Incredible Hulk and is scheduled to appear in the 2012 crossover film The Avengers. The film is the first installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another sequel, Iron Man 3 is set for a 2013 release, with Downey reprising his role.

The Plot

Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is the head of Stark Industries, a major military contracting company he inherited from his father. Even though Stark is an inventive genius and wunderkind, he is also a playboy. One day, while his father's old partner, Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), takes care of day-to-day operations, Stark flies to war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes a.k.a. "Rhodey" (Terrence Howard), for a demonstration of Stark Industries' new weapon, the "Jericho" missile. However, Stark is critically wounded in an assault and finds himself the prisoner of an Afghan terrorist group known as the Ten Rings. An electromagnet built by fellow captive Dr. Yinsen (Shaun Toub) keeps the shrapnel in his chest from reaching his heart and killing him. The Ten Rings leader, Raza (Faran Tahir), offers Stark his freedom in exchange for building a Jericho missile for the group, but Tony and Yinsen agree Raza will not keep his word.

During his three months of captivity, Stark and Yinsen secretly build a powerful electric generator called an arc reactor, which will power Stark's electromagnet, and then begin to build a suit of armor to escape. The Ten Rings attack the workshop when they discover what Stark is doing, and Yinsen fights back to buy Stark time as the suit powers up. The armored Stark battles his way out of the caves and finds the dying Yinsen, who tells him not to waste his life. Stark burns the terrorists' munitions and flies away to crash in the desert, destroying the suit. After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark returns home and announces that his company will no longer manufacture weapons. Stane advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries and his father's legacy. In his home workshop, Stark builds an improved version of his suit as well as a more powerful arc reactor for his chest.

When Stark makes his first public appearance after his return, reporter Christine Everhart (Leslie Bibb) informs him that Stark Industries' weapons, including the Jericho, were recently delivered to the Ten Rings and are being used to attack Yinsen's home village. He also learns that Stane is trying to succeed him as head of the company. Enraged, Stark decides to intervene using his now finished suit. In a lengthy and elaborate scene, Stark dons his new armor and then flies to Afghanistan where he saves Yinsen's village and turns Raza's subordinate over to the villagers. While flying home, Stark is shot at by two F-22 Raptor fighter jets. He calls Rhodes on his cell phone and reveals his secret identity in an attempt to get the attack called off. Meanwhile, the Ten Rings find the pieces of Stark's prototype suit and meet with Obadiah, who has the group eliminated and has the company's engineers reverse engineer a new suit from the wreck. Seeking to find any other weapons delivered to the Ten Rings, Stark sends his assistant Virginia "Pepper" Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to hack into the company computer system from Obadiah's office. She discovers Obadiah has been supplying terrorists with Stark weaponry and hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark, but the group reneged on the deal upon discovering who the target was. Pepper, soon after, meets with agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) of the "Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division", a counter-terrorism agency, to inform him of Obadiah's activities.

Stane's scientists cannot duplicate Stark's arc reactor, so Stane ambushes Stark in his home, using a sonic device to paralyze him and take his arc reactor. Left to die, Stark crawls to his lab and retrieves his original reactor. Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempt to arrest Stane, but are attacked by him in his now functional suit. Stark races to the rescue and fights Stane, but is quickly overpowered without his new reactor to run his suit at full capacity. Stark lures him atop the Stark Industries building and instructs Potts to overload the large arc reactor in the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that knocks Stane unconscious, causing him and his armor to fall into the exploding reactor. The next day, the press has dubbed Stark in his armor as "Iron Man". Agent Coulson gives him a cover story to explain the events of the night and Stane's death. At a press conference, Stark starts to tell the cover story given to him by S.H.I.E.L.D., but then announces that he is Iron Man.

In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) visits Stark at home, and, noting that Iron Man is not "the only superhero in the world", says he wants to discuss the "Avenger Initiative".


Iron Man received critical acclaim. On May 1, 2008, the film was identified as the "best-reviewed film of the year so far" by Jen Yamato of review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with the site reporting at that time the film had received a rating of 95% based on 107 reviews and this rating has held its place as of January 2010. The film currently holds a score of 94% based on 235 reviews, with selected top critics giving it a score of 93% based on 39 reviews. Metacritic gave the film normalized average score of 79%, based on 38 reviews.

Among the major trade journals, Todd McCarthy in Variety called the film an "expansively entertaining special effects extravaganza" with "fresh energy and stylistic polish", while Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film while nonetheless finding "disappointment in a climatic battle between different Iron Man prototypes how did Tony's nemesis learn how to use the suit?" In one of the first major-daily newspaper reviews, Frank Lovece of Newsday lauded the film's "emotional truth pitch-perfect casting and plausibly rendered super-science" that made it "faithful to the source material while updating it – and recognizing what's made that material so enduring isn't just the high-tech cool of a man in a metal suit, but the human condition that got him there". A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the film "an unusually good superhero picture. Or at least – since it certainly has its problems – a superhero movie that's good in unusual ways."

Among the specialty press, Garth Franklin of Dark Horizons commended the "impressive sets and mechanics that combine smoothly with relatively seamless CG", and said, "Robert Downey Jr., along with director Jon Favreau help this rise above formula. The result is something that, whilst hardly original or groundbreaking, is nevertheless refreshing in its earnestness to avoid dark dramatic stylings in favor of an easy-going, crowd-pleasing action movie with a sprinkle of anti-war and redemption themes". IGN's Todd Gilchrist recognized Downey as "the best thing" in a film that "functions on autopilot, providing requisite story developments and character details to fill in this default 'origin story' while the actors successfully breathe life into their otherwise conventional roles".

Among major metropolitan weeklies, David Edelstein of New York magazine called the film "a shapely piece of mythmaking Favreau doesn't go in for stylized comic-book frames, at least in the first half. He gets real with it – you'd think you were watching a military thriller", while conversely, David Denby of The New Yorker put forth a negative review, claiming "a slightly depressed, going-through-the-motions feel to the entire show Gwyneth Paltrow, widening her eyes and palpitating, can't do much with an antique role as Stark's girl Friday, who loves him but can't say so; Terrence Howard, playing a military man who chases around after Stark, looks dispirited and taken for granted". Looking at the sociocultural aspects of the film, Cristobal Giraldez Catalan at Bright Lights Film Journal argues that, "Iron Man is far more than playboy fantasy; it is American foreign policy realized without context....Iron Man, with narrative and directorial precision, once again provides the high-fidelity misogyny and anti-Muslim rhetoric Hollywood is known for."

Roger Ebert and Richard Corliss named Iron Man as among their favorite films of 2008.

The Cast

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man
Terrence Howard as Rhodey
 Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane
 Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts
 Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart
 Shaun Toub as Yinsen
 Faran Tahir as Raza
 Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson
 Bill Smitrovich as General Gabriel
 Sayed Badreya as Abu Bakaar
 Paul Bettany as Jarvis (voice)
 Jon Favreau as Hogan
 Peter Billingsley as William Ginter Riva
 Tim Guinee as Major Allen

Trolling Saruman (Funny Video)

Kanye West


   Kanye Omari West born June 8, 1977 is an American rapper, singer, and record producer. West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and Janet Jackson. His style of production originally used pitched-up vocal samples from soul songs incorporated with his own drums and instruments. However, subsequent productions saw him broadening his musical palette and expressing influences encompassing '70s R&B, baroque pop, trip hop, arena rock, folk, alternative, electronica, synth-pop, and classical music.

   West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004, his second album Late Registration in 2005, his third album Graduation in 2007, his fourth album 808s & Heartbreak in 2008, and his fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2010. West released a collaborative album, Watch the Throne, with Jay-Z on August 8, 2011, which is the duo's first collaborative album. His five solo albums, all of which have gone platinum, have received numerous awards and critical acclaim. As of 2011, West has won a total of fourteen Grammy Awards. All albums have been very commercially successful, with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy becoming his fourth consecutive No.1 album in the U.S. upon release. West has had 5 songs exceed 3 million in digital sales as of July 2011, with "Gold Digger" selling 3,086,000, "Stronger" selling 4,402,000, "Heartless" selling 3,742,000, "E.T." selling over 4,000,000 and "Love Lockdown" selling over 3,000,000 placing him third in overall digital sales of the past decade. He has sold over 25 million digital songs in the United States placing him second for solo male artists on the list and sixth overall for best selling digital artists.

   West also runs his own record label GOOD Music, home to artists such as John Legend, Common and Kid Cudi. West's mascot and trademark is "Dropout Bear," a teddy bear which has appeared on the covers of three of his five albums as well as various single covers and music videos. ranked Kanye West No.8 on their "Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers" list. On May 16, 2008, Kanye West was crowned by MTV as the year's No.1 "Hottest MC in the Game." On December 17, 2010, Kanye West was voted as the MTV Man of the Year by MTV. Billboard ranked Kanye West No. 3 on their list of Top 10 Producers of the decade. West has also been included in the Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world as well as being listed in a number of Forbes' annual lists.
   Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lived with his parents. When he was three years old, his parents divorced, and he and his mother moved to Chicago, Illinois. His father was Ray West, a former Black Panther who was one of the first black photojournalists at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and is now a Christian counselor. West's mother, Dr. Donda West, was a Professor of English at Clark Atlanta University, and the Chair of the English Department at Chicago State University before retiring to serve as West's manager. He was raised in a middle-class background, attending Polaris High School in suburban Oak Lawn, Illinois after living in Chicago. When asked about his grades in high school, West replied, "I got A's and B's. And I'm not even frontin'".

   West attended art classes at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, and also enrolled at Chicago State University, but dropped out to focus on his music career. While attending school, West produced for local artists. He later gained fame by producing hit singles for major hip hop/R&B artists, including Jay-Z, Talib Kweli, Cam'ron, Paul Wall, Common, Mobb Deep, Jermaine Dupri, Scarface, The Game, Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, John Legend among others. He also "ghost-produced" for his mentor Deric Angelettie, according to his song "Last Call" and the credits of Nas' "Poppa Was a Playa".

   Kanye West's first career productions came on Chicago rapper Grav's 1996 debut album Down to Earth. West produced eight tracks on the album. While the album did not attract much attention and would be the only album released by Grav, West would soon be producing for higher profile artists. In 1998–1999 he produced for well-known artists such as Jermaine Dupri, Foxy Brown, Goodie Mob, and the group Harlem World.

   West got his big break in the year 2000, when he began to produce for artists on Roc-a-Fella Records. He produced the well-received Jay-Z song "This Can't Be Life" off of the album The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. West would later state that to create the beat for "This Can't Be Life", he sped up the drum beat from Dr. Dre's song "Xxplosive".

   After producing for Jay-Z earlier, West’s sound was featured heavily on Jay-Z's critically acclaimed album The Blueprint, released September 11, 2001. His work was featured on the lead single "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)," "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)" and a diss track against Nas and Mobb Deep named "Takeover"; West has worked with Mobb Deep and Nas since the track's release.

   After meeting great commercial success and critical acclaim for his productions on The Blueprint, West became a sought after producer in the hip-hop industry, even before he became known as a rapper and solo artist. In the years 2002–2003 he would produce for artists such as Nas, Scarface, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, T.I., Ludacris, DMX, and Monica. He also continued producing for Roc-a-Fella Records artists and contribued four tracks to Jay-Z's follow up album to The Blueprint, The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse.

   After great successes as a producer, West now looked to pursue a career as a rapper and solo artist, but struggled to get a record deal. Chris Anokute, then A&R at Def Jam, said that when West regularly dropped by the office to pick up his producer checks he would play demos of solo material to Anokute in his cubicle and bemoan the fact that no one was taking him seriously as a rapper. Jay-Z admitted that Roc-A-Fella was initially reluctant to support West as a rapper, claiming that he saw him as a producer first and foremost. Multiple record companies felt he was not as marketable as rappers who portray the "street image" prominent in hip hop culture. Beginning his career as a rapper, Kanye West recorded the third verse on the song "The Bounce" off of Jay-Z's The Blueprint²: The Gift & the Curse, an album he produced for, from the same label he was signed to as a rapper.

   Kanye West and designer Alexis Phifer ended their 18-month engagement in 2008. The couple had been dating on and off since 2002, with West eventually proposing in August 2006. According to a friend, the couple's relationship had become increasingly strained, burdened by the sheer amount of time and attention West was dedicating to his current concert tour. "It's always sad when things like this end, and we remain friends," Phifer told People.

   West was also in a high profile on/off relationship with Amber Rose from 2008 until the summer of 2010.

   On November 10, 2007, West's mother, Donda West, died of complications from cosmetic surgery involving abdominoplasty and breast augmentation. TMZ reported that Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Andre Aboolian refused to do the surgery because Donda West had a health condition that placed her at risk for a heart attack. Aboolian referred her to an internist to investigate her cardiac issue. Donda never met with the doctor recommended by Aboolian and had the procedures performed by a third doctor, Jan Adams. She was 58 years old (1949–2007).

   Adams sent condolences to Donda West's family but declined to publicly discuss the procedure because of confidentiality. He had previously been under scrutiny by the medical board. Adams appeared on Larry King Live on November 20, 2007 but left before speaking. Two days later, he appeared again, with his attorney, stating he was there to "defend himself." He said that the recently released autopsy results "spoke for themselves". The final coroner's report January 10, 2008 concluded that Donda West died of "coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors due to or as a consequence of liposuction and mammoplasty."

   The funeral and burial for Donda West was held in Oklahoma City on November 20, 2007. West held his first concert following the funeral at The O2 in London on November 22. He dedicated a performance of "Hey Mama", as well as a cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'", to his mother, and did so on all other dates of his Glow in the Dark tour.

   At a December 2008 press conference in New Zealand, West spoke about his mother's death for the first time. "It was like losing an arm and a leg and trying to walk through that," he told reporters.

   California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger passed the "Donda West Law," a legislation which makes it mandatory for patients to provide medical clearance for elective cosmetic surgery.

   In December 2006, Robert "Evel" Knievel sued West for trademark infringement in West's video for "Touch the Sky." Knievel took issue with a "sexually-charged video" in which West takes on the persona of "Evel Kanyevel" and attempts flying a rocket over a canyon. The suit filed in federal court claims infringement on his trademarked name and likeness. Knievel also claims the "vulgar and offensive" images depicted in the video damage his reputation. The suit seeks damages and to stop distribution of the video. West's attorneys argued that the music video amounted to satire and therefore was covered under the First Amendment. Just days before his death in November 2007, Knievel amicably settled the suit after being paid a visit from West, saying, "I thought he was a wonderful guy and quite a gentleman."

   On September 11, 2008, West and his road manager/bodyguard Don "Don C." Crowley were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and booked on charges of felony vandalism after an altercation with the paparazzi in which West and Crowley broke the photographers' cameras. West was later released from the Los Angeles Police Department's Pacific Division station in Culver City on $20,000 bail bond. On September 26, 2008 the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said it would not file felony counts against West over the incident. Instead the case file was forwarded to the city attorney's office, which charged West with one count of misdemeanor vandalism, one count of grand theft and one count of battery and his manager with three counts of each on March 18, 2009. West's and Crowley's arraignment was delayed from an original date of April 14, 2009.

   West was arrested again on November 14, 2008 at the Hilton hotel near Gateshead after another scuffle involving a photographer outside the famous Tup Tup Palace nightclub in Newcastle Upon Tyne. He was later released "with no further action", according to a police spokesperson.



   The College Dropout is the debut album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released February 10, 2004, on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was recorded over a period of four years, beginning in 1999. Prior to the album's release, West had worked on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint (2001), which showcased his melodic and soulful style of hip hop production. Produced entirely by West, The College Dropout features musical contributions from Jay-Z, John Legend, Ervin "EP" Pope, Miri Ben-Ari, and Syleena Johnson. Diverging from the then-dominant gangster persona in hip hop, West's lyrics on the album concern themes of family, religion, self-consciousness, materialism, and personal struggles.

   The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 441,000 copies in its first week. It was a massive commercial success, producing five singles that achieved chart success. Upon its release, The College Dropout received general acclaim from music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy Awards. It is West's best-selling album in the United States, with domestic sales of over 3.1 million copies and worldwide sales of over four million copies. Rolling Stone named it the tenth-best album of the 2000s decade. In 2006, the album was named by Time as one of the 100 best albums of all time.

   The College Dropout diverged from the then-dominant gangster persona in hip hop in favor of more diverse, topical proponents. Throughout the album, West touches on a number of different life-related issues, including organized religion, family, sexuality, excessive materialism, self-consciousness, minimum-wage labor, institutional prejudice, and personal struggles. Music journalist Kelefa Sanneh wrote, "Throughout the album Mr. West taunts everyone who didn't believe in him: teachers, record executives, police officers, even his former boss at the Gap". In an interview conducted just before the album's release, West commented, "My persona is that I'm the regular person. Just think about whatever you've been through in the past week, and I have a song about that on my album."

   The album debuted at number two on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 441,000 copies in its first week. By April 2004, it had sold in excess of 1 million copies in the United States. On June 30, 2004, the album was certified double platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following sales of 2 million copies. As of July 2009, The College Dropout is West's best-selling album in the United States, with domestic sales of over 3.1 million copies; it has sold over 4 million copies worldwide.


   Late Registration is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released August 30, 2005, on Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place over the course of a year at various recording studios located in New York City and Hollywood. West collaborated with American record producer and composer Jon Brion to produce Late Registration, and the album features guest contributions from artists including Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Brandy, and Adam Levine of Maroon 5.

   The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 860,000 copies in its first week. It ultimately sold three million copies in the United States and spawned five singles that attained chart success. Upon its release, Late Registration received general acclaim from most music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 48th Grammy Awards. It appeared at the top of several publications year-end lists of top albums. Initially naming it the best album of 2005, Rolling Stone ranked the album number 40 on its list of the best albums of the 2000s decade.

   On Late Registration, West abstained from his characteristic sped-up soul style and instead took a far more eclectic approach to production. Drawing inspiration from English trip hop band Portishead and collaborating with film score composer Jon Brion, the second opus blends West's primary soulful hip-hop production with Brion's elaborate chamber pop orchestration and experimentally delves into a wide array of different genres, including alto jazz, blues, rock, R&B, spoken word, funk, turntablism, western classical, and psychedelic soul. With the presence of Brion, who conducts a twenty-piece orchestra and plays instruments individually selected by West, the album is largely orchestral in nature, brandishing a euphony of string arrangements, piano chords, brass flecks, and horn riffs among many other symphonic instrumentation. The two also incorporated a myriad of foreign and vintage instruments not typical utilized in popular music, let alone hip hop, such as a celesta, harpsichord, Chamberlin, CS-80 analog synthesizer, Chinese bells and berimbau, vibraphones, and marimba. The end result is a more diverse, ornate, polished production that retains a multi-layered, cinematic texture with a particularly heightened emphasis on instrumental passages and extended codas. Music writers have also noted the genre-defying styles and sudden musical shifts present within the song structures as reminiscent of The Beatles during their experimental era. Rolling Stone described Late Registration as West claiming "the whole world of music as hip-hop turf" chronicling the album as "his mad quest to explode every cliché about hip-hop identity." Vibe concurred with this sentiment, stating, "West ambitiously attempts to depart from the street sensibilities of Dropout by giving Late Registration a shiny, quasi-alt-pop finish."

   The art direction and music packaging for Late Registration was done by Brooklyn graphic design studio Morning Breath, Inc. Similar to its predecessor, the album artwork of the second album carries an educational motif. Where The College Dropout was designed in a manner reminiscent of a high school yearbook, the images contained within the liner notes of Late Registration were taken in a university. The scenes were photographed by Sarah A. Friedman and Kris Yiengst while the styling was done by Charlene Roxborough and groomed by Ibn Jasper of Partos. West's vision for the style of the pictures was inspired by the works of American satirical painter John Currin, one of West's favorite artist. The liner notes also contain a banner that reads Tardus Subcriptio, which is Latin for Late Registration. The album artwork centers around "Dropout Bear", West's anthropomorphic teddy bear mascot, who is dressed in a collegian outfit. Entering the university on the front cover, Dropout wanders its hallways, sits in empty lecture halls, and reads multiple library books before departing from the institution the same way he came in on the back cover.


   Graduation is the third studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released September 11, 2007 on Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place during 2005 to 2007 at Chung King Studios and Sony Music Studios in New York City and at Chalice Studios and The Record Plant in Los Angeles. It was primarily produced by West and DJ Toomp, and features guest contributions from artists including Mos Def, Dwele, T-Pain, Lil Wayne, and Chris Martin of Coldplay. The album's cover artwork was designed by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

   Inspired by Irish rock band U2 and other musical groups to make more inspirational, anthemic hip hop music, West incorporated synthesizer sounds into his production and dabbled with electronic music, while sampling a wider spectrum of musical genres. Lyrically, Graduation is more introspective in comparison to its predecessors, as West dedicated much of the album towards analyzing himself and conveying his ambivalent outlook on his newfound fame. It continues the education theme of West's previous two studio albums, The College Dropout (2004) and Late Registration (2005).

   The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 957,000 copies in its first week. The coinciding release dates of Graduation and rapper 50 Cent's Curtis generated much publicity over the idea of a sales competition, resulting in record-breaking sales performances by both albums. Graduation received generally positive reviews from most music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. The album has sold 2,166,000 copies in the US and has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

   With Graduation, West departed from the warm soul samples of The College Dropout and the lush chamber pop orchestration of Late Registration and moved towards a more atmospheric, rock-tinged, electronic soundscape. The musical evolution arose from him listening to musical genres encompassing European Britpop and Euro-disco, American alternative/indie rock, and his native Chicago house. Towards this end, Kanye retracted the live instrumentation that characterized his previous album and had it replaced with heavy, gothic synths. West injected distorted synth-riffs, rave stabs, house beats, electro-disco rhythms, and an array of modulated electronic sound effects into his hip hop production. Despite the dominant synthetic attributes, the emphasis on organic string arrangements that accentuated Late Registration remained a significant factor on Graduation. Also, similar to its predecessor, the album didn't relegate itself to simplistic looping techniques typical of conventional hip hop and instead continued to implement sudden musical shifts within its multi-layered song structures and express intricately composed introductions, bridges, and codas. Under the belief that his previous album had been too indulgent and poorly arranged, West fashioned Graduation to contain less ornate production, made the album completely devoid of skits, and sequenced it in such a way that it produced a more cohesive package.


   808s & Heartbreak is the fourth studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released November 24, 2008 on Roc-A-Fella Records in the United States. Recording sessions for the album took place at Glenwood Studios in Burbank, California and Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii during September to October 2008. It was primarily produced by West, No I.D., and Jeff Bhasker. Conceived in the wake of multiple events that affected and distressed him during the previous year, 808s & Heartbreak marked a major musical departure for Kanye West from his previous work, lyrically, vocally, and production-wise.

   Classified by West as a pop album, 808s & Heartbreak incorporates elements of synthpop, electronica, R&B, and electropop, while its tracks are primarily sung rather than rapped by West and contain lyrical themes such as love, loneliness, and heartache. The album also contains extensive use of the Auto-Tune voice processor and the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which was utilized and manipulated by West to produce a distorted, electronic sound. Approaching the album's production in a minimalist fashion, West intended to contravene the typical sound of hip hop beat and instead evoke a presence of tribal drums.

   The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 450,145 copies in its first week. It produced four singles, including the hit singles "Love Lockdown" and "Heartless". Despite having a divided reaction from music audiences towards West's stylistic change, 808s & Heartbreak received generally positive reviews from music critics upon its release. In 2009, Rolling Stone magazine named it the 63rd best album of the 2000s decade. 808s & Heartbreak has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and has sold 1.63 million copies in the United States.

   Following the release of his third studio album Graduation, the remainder of 2007 and the following year featured events that profoundly affected Kanye West. On November 10, 2007, West's mother Donda West died due to complications arising from cosmetic surgery involving a tummy tuck and breast reduction procedure. Months later, West and fiancée Alexis Phifer ended their engagement and their long-term on-off relationship, which had begun in 2002. At the same time, West struggled to adapt to his new found pop star status he had once striven to achieve, often becoming the subject of media scrutiny. The loss, loneliness and longing for companionship and a sense of normality served to inspire 808s & Heartbreak. West stated that "This album was therapeutic — it's lonely at the top." A photograph taken by Danny Clinch of West kissing his mother on the cheek was included in the album's booklet liner notes.

   West felt that the emotions he felt could not be fully expressed simply through rapping, saying that aside from the fact that rapping had limitations, there were "melodies that were in me — what was in me I couldn't stop." West went to classify 808s & Heartbreak as a pop album, asserting his disdain towards the contemporary backlash to the concept of pop music and expressed admiration for what some pop stars have accomplished in their careers. He later stated that he wishes to present the music as a new genre called "pop art", clarifying that he was well aware of the visual art movement of the same name and wished to present a musical equivalent. "Either call it 'pop' or 'pop art', either one I'm good with."


   My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the fifth studio album by American hip hop recording artist Kanye West, released November 22, 2010, on Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place primarily at Avex Recording Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii during 2009 to 2010. Production was handled by West and several other record producers, including Jeff Bhasker, RZA, No I.D., and Mike Dean, among others. Following a hiatus from his music career, West worked on the album through a communal development that involved him and various other musicians and producers contributing collectively to its music. Noted by music writers for its varied elements, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy incorporates musical components from West's previous works and features themes regarding excess and celebrity.

   The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 496,000 copies in its first week in the United States. It achieved respectable international charting and produced four singles that attained chart success, including US Billboard hits "Power", "Monster", "Runaway", and "All of the Lights". Upon its release, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy received general acclaim from music critics, earning praise for its varied musical style, opulent production quality, and West's dichotomous themes. It was also named the best album of 2010 in numerous critics' polls and year-end lists. The album has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and, as of February 2012, has sold 1,254,000 copies in the United States.

   The album was conceived during West's self-imposed exile in Oahu, Hawaii, following a period of legal and public image controversy amid an overworked mental state at the time. West later said that his fatigue from overworking led to his controversial outburst at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, his disgust with its ensuing media response, and his hiatus from recording. Amid negative response to the incident, his scheduled tour with recording artist Lady Gaga in promotion of his previous album, 808s & Heartbreak, was cancelled on October 1, 2009, without reason.

   The album was formerly known as Good Ass Job and tentatively Dark Twisted Fantasy. GOOD Music artist Big Sean was the second to announce the title of the album as Good Ass Job. On July 24, 2010, on Kanye West's blog, a banner appeared reading "My Dark Twisted Fantasy Trailer". On July 28, 2010, West announced via his new official Twitter account that "The album is no longer called 'Good Ass Job' I'm bouncing a couple of titles around now." The official title, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, was announced on October 5, 2010.

And now listen to some good hip hop:

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Beginners (2010)

Beginners is a 2010 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Mike Mills. It tells the story of Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a man reflecting on the life and death of his father while trying to forge a new romantic relationship with a woman dealing with father issues of her own.

Beginners premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, where the Los Angeles Times heralded it as a "heady, heartfelt film" with a cast who has "a strong sense of responsibility to their real-world counterparts".

The Plot

The film is structured as a series of interconnected flashbacks. Following the death of his father Hal, Oliver reflects on his relationship with him following the death of Oliver's mother Georgia. Shortly after her death Hal came out as gay to his son and began exploring that aspect of his life. Hal finds a boyfriend, Andy, and surrounds himself with a circle of gay friends. Hal is then diagnosed with terminal cancer. Following an extended illness during which Oliver helps care for him, Hal dies.

Several months after Hal's death, Oliver meets Anna, a French actress, at a party and they begin a relationship. Oliver's unresolved emotions around his father's death and his parents' life together, along with Anna's conflicted feelings about her emotionally unstable father, initially interfere with their relationship but they resolve to stay together.


The film has received positive reviews upon release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, Beginners received an average score of 81, based on 36 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim reviews". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, saying "It's a hopeful fable with deep optimism and a cheerful style that kids itself." Allrovi (All Media Guide) called it "a life-affirming drama" and gave the film four-and-a-half stars out of five.

The Cast

Ewan McGregor as Oliver Fields
 Christopher Plummer as Hal Fields
 Mélanie Laurent as Anna
 Goran Visnjic as Andy
 Kai Lennox as Elliot
 Mary Page Keller as Georgia
 Keegan Boos as Young Oliver Fields
 China Shavers as Shauna
 Melissa Tang as Liz
 Amanda Payton as Party Person



   Pink (born Alecia Beth Moore; September 8, 1979), often stylized as P!nk, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and actress. After her short, three-year career with the contemporary R&B girl group Choice, in 2000 she released her first single "There You Go", from her debut album Can't Take Me Home. The song garnered commercial success, peaking at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2001, she released her second, more pop rock-oriented, studio album, Missundaztood. The album went on to become a critical and commercial success, with estimated sales of 13 million. The album produced four singles, "Get the Party Started", "Don't Let Me Get Me", "Just Like a Pill" and "Family Portrait", each entering the Top 20, with "Get the Party Started" being her highest charting solo single (tied with "Most Girls") until "So What" in 2008, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

   In November 2003, Pink released her third album Try This. The album was, commercially, less successful than her previous album, but still managed to sell around 3 million copies, making it Pink's least successful album to date. It produced three singles, "Trouble", "God Is a DJ" and "Last to Know", with the first receiving a Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. After taking a short break, she released I'm Not Dead, her fourth studio album, on April 4, 2006. It marks her comeback after the poor success of her previous album. The album debuted and peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200, Pink's highest debut on the chart. It was preceded by the controversial single "Stupid Girls" which garnered commercial success.

   The second single, "Who Knew", was virtually ignored on American radio, but after the huge success of "U + Ur Hand", was re-released, peaking at #9 on the charts. "U + Ur Hand" is credited to have revived Pink's career in the US, and also to have brought the album back to the charts. Her fifth album, Funhouse, was released in late October 2008. It was preceded by her first solo number one on the Billboard Hot 100, "So What". The album notched three other Top 20 hits: "Sober", "Please Don't Leave Me" and "Glitter in the Air". On November 15, 2010, she released her first compilation album, Greatest Hits... So Far!!!. The album produced two singles, "Raise Your Glass" and "Fuckin' Perfect", the former reaching the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

   By the end of 2009, Billboard magazine named Pink the number one Pop Artist of the decade, as well as naming her the 13th overall music artist of the decade. A few months later, in June 2010, Forbes magazine named Pink the 27th most powerful celebrity in the world.Pink's career accomplishments include three Grammy Awards, five MTV Video Music Awards and two Brit Awards. In June 2011 Pink and her husband, Carey Hart, welcomed their first child, Willow Sage.


   Pink has named Madonna and Janis Joplin as two of her biggest musical influences.She stated that "I wanted to do it my way with my career, and I had this arrogant notion that people weren't just interested in my music but me as a person. That was my bit of arrogance, I guess. That's something I learned from Madonna. I was a fan right from the first time I heard 'Holiday'."Of Joplin she expressed: "She was so inspiring by singing blues music when it wasn't culturally acceptable for white women, and she wore her heart on her sleeve. She was so witty and charming and intelligent, but she also battled an ugly-duckling syndrome. I would love to play her in a movie."


   Pink has been described as an artist who has changed the scope of pop music, but has hardly received recognition for it.Referring to her as a "powerhouse vocalist", Ann Powers of The Chicago Tribune asked, "Why isn't she an even bigger star?" Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone commented: "I think people respond to her sense of independence and dedication. It inspires people ... This is a prolific pop artist who is sometimes famous and successful, sometimes obscure, who nonetheless keeps making her own kind of music. Every few years, the spotlight comes back around to her—but her fans can trust that when the spotlight moves along, Pink will keep on writing Pink songs." Powers adds that her mix of rock-style rebellion, emotional rawness, humor and "infectious" dance beats created "a model for the mashup approach of latter-day divas such as Katy Perry, Lily Allen, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and most noticeably Jessie J." James Montgomery of MTV describes her as "a fabulously fearless pop artist" who can "out-sing almost anyone out there. She can out-crazy Gaga or Lily. She's the total pop-star package, everything you'd want in a singer/entertainer/icon. And still, she remains oddly off the radar. Such is the price of busting borders, I suppose."

British soul singer Adele considers Pink's performance at Brixton Academy in London as one of "the most defining moments" in her life.



   Can't Take Me Home is the debut album by singer P!nk, released in the United States on April 4, 2000 by LaFace Records. It produced three singles ("There You Go", "Most Girls", and "You Make Me Sick") and peaked at number twenty-six on the U.S. Billboard 200. Producers included Kevin "She'kspere" Briggs, Babyface, Kandi Burruss, Terence "Tramp Baby" Abney, Daryl Simmons, and Tricky. Pink shared co-writing credit on seven of the album's tracks. This album featured a contemporary R&B sound; Pink went for a more pop-rock oriented sound on her follow-up albums. She later went on to admit that during the period of promoting this album, she felt trapped because she wasn't expressing her full musical influences. The album has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.


   Missundaztood (stylized as M!ssundaztood) is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Pink. The album was released worldwide in late 2001 to receive global commercial and critical success, with worldwide sales estimated to exceed 16 million units, and critics welcoming the new sound Pink presents on the record, switching to pop rock music, after an urban-influenced debut.

   The album's singles were positively-received by critics and fans. They all made chart debuts and became hits, thus were featured on Pink's 2010 Greatest Hits... So Far!!! album. They include the global chart topper "Get the Party Started," and hit singles "Don't Let Me Get Me" and "Just Like a Pill," all reaching the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album's final single was "Family Portrait," a vulnerable R&B anthem that Pink wrote about her parents' separation. The song became a worldwide Top 20 hit, peaking at #20 on the Hot 100.


   Try This is the third studio album by recording artist Pink. It was released on November 11, 2003 (see 2003 in music). It features the singles "Trouble", "God Is a DJ" and "Last to Know". Try This was certified platinum by the RIAA, worldwide sales stand at 4 million copies.


   I'm Not Dead is the fourth studio album by American recording artist Pink. The album was released on April 4, 2006 in the United States.

   I'm Not Dead was preceded by its controversial lead single, "Stupid Girls", a top twenty hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The album's second and third singles, "Who Knew" and "U + Ur Hand", reached the top ten and revived the album's sales fortunes in the U.S., leading to a platinum certification from the RIAA for sales of one million. Subsequent, and less successful, singles were "Nobody Knows", "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)", "Dear Mr. President" and "'Cuz I Can". A Platinum Edition of the album was issued with bonus tracks, remixes and a DVD,the album sold over 5 million copies worldwide.


   Funhouse is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Pink, released by LaFace Records worldwide in October 2008. The album reached number one on the charts in six countries including Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and United Kingdom, while debuting at number two in Germany, Ireland, and United States.

   Singles from the album include the U.S. number-one single "So What", "Sober", "Please Don't Leave Me", "Funhouse", "I Don't Believe You", and "Glitter in the Air". Funhouse earned Pink three Grammy Award nominations and five MTV Video Music Award nominations. Funhouse was re-released in late 2009 to include a bonus DVD, and was accompanied by the release of Funhouse Tour: Live in Australia, a live album taped during Pink's Australian leg of the Funhouse Tour, worldwide the album sold 10 million copies.

Finally, enjoy some of the best creations of Pink:

"This article is dedicated to Antigoni_Iommi"

Eternal Love (Short Story)

   Her face was basking in the sun's light... The flowers all around her filled the air with beautiful scents, her body was laying lightly on the blanket she laid on the ground so that she won't get stained by the dirt. However, something unearthly was there, an eerie being... The little god sat in a corner and watched with awe how beautiful a mortal woman could be... She surpassed every deity, every nymph...
   He wanted to get close to her, talk to her. He has been watching over her for two years. Here is where he saw her for the first time, in this illuminated part of the forest... He yearned to touch her golden hair, kiss her red lips... He approached and sat next to her without her knowing he was really there... Then he slowly began to chuck her face and a quiver passed through her body. She thought it was due to the cold that suddenly fell over the place, so she didn't budge... Even though she had her eyes closed, he knows how they look like... She has the most innocent look, one of a little girl that doesn't know how evil the world is... Knowing she won't hear him, he whispered once more, "I love you...", but was immediately surprised by the overthrow of the situation... The girl, without opening her eyes, answered in his words... The words "I love you too..." came out of her lips. Upon hearing these words, he opened his eyes wide open and hope filled his soul... But, quickly, her light breath made him realize that she was deeply sleeping... The little god seized the chance and softly, like touching an infant, gave her the sweetest kiss...
   No matter how many years go by, he would always love this mortal existence,he was sure about that... Unfortunately, the only way to have her as his own is to kill her by himself. But he would never do that to her... He wants to let her live... To marry a man worthy of her beauty and have gorgeous children with him, that may look like her...
   He knew he was doing something illegal. If someone found out what he was doing,his punishment would be awful... But he was indifferent, he loved her...
   Some instant, after many hours of sitting and staring at her, she opened her eyes and turned her fairy face towards him. A smile carved on her lips , like she knew he was there... He shed tears of happiness, but then her mother's voice sounded from the distance calling her to join her family in the car, which they finally managed to repair. She started running towards it... She opened the door and entered the car... She waved her parents with the happiest look... Until she sees and remembers again... In the front mirror, her burned and malformed face was mirrored once again... She bent her head to avoid seeing it... But then she recalled the day of the accident...
   Her father had lost control of his car and in an effort not to fall into an incoming vehicle, threw the car against a tree... Her parents went out to estimate the damage that was created, but she remained within... The family car suddenly exploded and caught fire... She can't remember anything else... Nor how she was saved... Only that she saw a strange dream before waking up...
   Once more, she raised her eyes watching her idol looking at her, full of ugliness, since everything on her was deformed... But the little god next to her, was looking at her pretty face, full of love and worship, once again...

                                                                                                                                Written by
                                                                                                             Elizabeth-Irene Pontiki


 One of the most known phenomena in our days is burnout. The term burnout expresses the psychophysical harass of a person that depletes of personal mental storages against the effort to adapt to every day difficulties. Furthermore, this term describes the daily discomfort and sensitivity, the feeling of “empty”, the sense of disappointment and incapability. It is more generally, a disturbance of balance between available and demanded resources. This disturbance is formed when the available resources are not enough to satisfy with the proper way the personal goals. 

The phenomenon of burnout has 4 stages that every patient deals with. Firstly, the stage of idealism-enthusiasm. The patients begin with investing all of their potential, time and available resources in their assignment.  Secondly, is the stage of inaction and apathy, which in this stage, the patient understands that the development of his assignment does not fulfill his expectation and his needs. The next stage is the cancellation stage, where the person wonders if it’s worth doing his duties under pressure and without the recognition of the others. And the last one is the stage of apathy. During this stage the patients invest some energy to avoid responsibilities and they convert their own expectations.

Apart from these stages, the burnout phenomenon can be recognized from its symptoms. The first symptoms that are observed is the increased commitment towards the personal goals, which is followed by the consumption of resources. Another symptom that follows is the decrease of the commitment towards family, friends and other assignments. In addition, it is obvious the appearance of depression and aggression as the loss of motive for the project that undertake. All these symptoms, lead to the progressive resign of emotional and social life. Though, not only psychological symptoms exist but also psychophysical, such as headaches, hypertensions, gastrointestinal disorders.  

As about the people that are affected by this phenomenon, are control freaks that need to prove to themselves and to others that they are capable and helpful because they believe that only in this way they can be approved and can receive love and respect from their fellow human beings. A list will follow with the personality characteristics that are more possible to present burnout effect: 

Excessive work commitment
Excessive ambition
Excessive introvert or extrovert
Social stress
Non-realistic personal ambitions
Insistence  in personal demands
Low self-esteem
Enthusiasm, jealousy
Low levels of social life
Anxious personality and neurotic character
Passivity and isolation
Need to control everything
Sense of power
Need to offer help
Compulsive urge to reach a goal
Inequality of cognitive evaluation

Apart from the frequency that burnout is faced nowadays; there are many ways to help the patients to tranquilize the symptoms of this phenomenon. If you are one of them pay attention. You should decrease the high leveled commitments and try to have more realistic goals that can satisfy you, you should learn how to handle your time and your stress. For any other help you might need you should try visit a psychologist to help you overtake this problem step by step.
 For any questions or advices you might need post me a comment to this article and I will be happy to answer it for you.

Uploaded by
Georgina Papaioannou

Monday, 27 February 2012

Public Enemy


   Public Enemy is an American hip hop group consisting of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff and his S1W group, DJ Lord (DJ who replaced Terminator X in 1999), and Music Director Khari Wynn. Formed in Long Island, New York in 1982, Public Enemy is known for their politically charged lyrics and criticism of the American media, with an active interest in the frustrations and concerns of the African American community.

   In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Public Enemy number forty-four on its list of the Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Acclaimed Music ranks them the 29th most recommended musical act of all time and the highest hip-hop group. The group was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

   After a 1994 motorcycle accident shattered his left leg and kept him in the hospital for a full month, Terminator X relocated to his 15-acre farm in Vance County, North Carolina. By 1998, he was ready to retire from the group and focus full-time on raising African black ostriches on his farm.

   In late 1998, the group started looking for Terminator X's permanent replacement. Following several months of searching for a DJ, Professor Griff saw DJ Lord at a Vestax Battle and approached him about becoming the DJ for Public Enemy. DJ Lord joined as the group’s full-time DJ just in time for Public Enemy’s 40th World Tour. Since 1999, he has been the official DJ for Public Enemy on albums and world tours while winning numerous turntablist competitions, including multiple DMC finals.

  • Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" plays a central role in Spike Lee's 1989 film "Do the Right Thing." In addition to opening the film with the actors dancing to the song, Character "Radio Raheem" carries his beat-box everywhere listening to the same song, prompting one character to ask if he ever listens to anything else. Radio Raheem acts surprised and explains "It's Public Enemy!"
  • The song "Power of Equality" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers makes a reference, saying, "I got tapes I got CDs, I got my Public Enemy." The band have also performed segments of Public Enemy's You're Gonna Get Yours as an intro to their song Give It Away at concerts.
  • John Connor in the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgement Day wore a Public Enemy t-shirt for the majority of the film.
  • Part of NOFX song Franco Unamerican says "I´m watching Michael Moore expose the awful truth, I´m listening to Public Enemy and Reagan Youth."
  • The episode of Futurama titled 'Fear Of A Bot Planet' is a reference to the album 'Fear Of A Black Planet'
  • Shawn Wayans' stage name while serving as DJ on "In Living Color" was SW1, a reference to Public Enemy's S1Ws.
Band members:

  • Chuck D – MC (1987–present)
  • Flavor Flav (William Drayton) - hype man, occasionally lead vocals
  • Khari Wynn - Music Director
  • DJ Lord (Lord Aswod) - DJ
  • Professor Griff
Former members:

  • Terminator X (Norman Rogers) - DJ, producer
  • Big Casper (Tracy Walker)
  • Brother James (James Norman)
  • Brother Roger
  • The Interrorgator (Shawn K Carter),
  • Crunch
  • Jacob shankle AKA (big Jake)
  • The Bomb Squad
* Hank Shocklee (James Henry Boxley III)
* Keith Shocklee (Keith Boxley)
* Eric "Vietnam" Sadler
* Gary G-Wiz (Gary Rinaldo)
* Kerwin "Sleek" Young
* Professor Griff (Richard Griffin)
* Johnny "Juice" Rosado
  • Brian Hardgroove - bassist


   Yo! Bum Rush the Show is the debut album of American hip hop group Public Enemy, released January 26, 1987 on Def Jam Recordings in the United States. The group's logo, a silhouette of a black man in a rifle's crosshairs, is debuted on the album's cover. Yo! Bum Rush the Show features a sample-heavy sound by production team The Bomb Squad.

   The album peaked at number 125 on the U.S. Billboard Top LPs chart and at number 28 on the Top Black Albums chart. NME magazine named it the best album of the year in its 1987 critics poll. Along with the Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill (1986) and LL Cool J's Radio (1985), music writer Cheo H. Coker has cited Yo! Bum Rush the Show as one of three of the most influential albums in hip hop history. In 1998, it was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2003, the album was ranked number 497 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

   According to Jon Pareles of The New York Times, "From its first album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987, the group marketed itself as a distillation of black anger and resistance. It set out to be the voice of a community, not just one more posse of boasters". Yo! Bum Rush the Show debuts The Bomb Squad's sample-heavy production style, which is prominent on the group's following work. Joe Brown of The Washington Post described the album's music as "a more serious brand of inner-city aggression", in comparison to Licensed to Ill (1986) by Def Jam label-mates the Beastie Boys. On its musical style, Brown wrote "Public Enemy's mean and minimalist rap is marked by an absolute absence of melody - the scary sound is just a throbbing pulse, hard drums and a designed-to-irritate electronic whine, like a dentist's drill or a persistent mosquito". The album's sound is accented by the scratching of DJ Terminator X. Chicago Tribune writer Daniel Brogan described Public Enemy's style on the album as "raw and confrontational", writing that the group "doesn't aim to -- or have a chance at -- crossing over".

  • Q magazine (9/95, p. 132) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...a stunning opening...just the first, in retrospect almost shy, step on a remarkable journey...a hard, droning extension of the basic drum`n'scratch Def Jam template that had served LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys so well."
  • Melody Maker (7/22/95, p. 35) - Recommended - "It wasn't just a new sound, a discovery. It was like being struck by a meteor."
  • NME (9/25/93, p. 19) - Ranked #49 in NME's list of The 50 Greatest Albums Of The '80s.
  • NME (7/15/95, p. 47) - 9 (out of 10) - "Yo! Bum Rush The Show announced a hip-hop group who smouldered beneath dark, sparse beats like no other, introduced us to the coolest vocal double act ever...and featured as striking a statement of intent as you could wish for in `Public Enemy Number 1'....brilliant."

   It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back is the second studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released April 14, 1988, on Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place at Chung King Studios, Greene Street Recording, and Sabella Studios in New York City. Noting the enthusiastic response over their live shows, the group intended with Nation of Millions to make the music of a faster tempo than the previous album for performance purposes.

   The album peaked at number 42 on the Billboard 200 chart. By August 1989, it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, after shipments of one million copies in the United States. The album was very well received by writers and music critics, and appeared on many publications' "best album" lists. It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back has since been regarded by music writers and publications as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all-time. The work has been hailed for its production techniques as well as the socially and politically charged lyricism of lead MC Chuck D. In 2003, the album was ranked number 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.

   Public Enemy's 1987 debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show, while acclaimed by hip hop critics and aficionados, had gone ignored for the most part by the rock and R&B mainstream, selling only 300,000 copies, which was relatively low by the high-selling standards of other Def Jam recording artists such as LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys at the time. However, the group continued to tour and record tirelessly. "On the day that Yo! Bum Rush the Show was released [in the spring of 1987], we was already in the trenches recording Nation of Millions," stated lead MC Chuck D.

   With It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, the group set out to make what they considered to be the hip hop equivalent to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, an album noted for its strong social commentary. As said by Chuck, "our mission was to kill the 'Cold Gettin' Dumb' stuff and really address some situations." In order to ensure that their live shows would be as exciting as those when they played in London and Philadelphia, the group decided that the music on Nation of Millions would have to be faster than that found on Yo! Bum Rush the Show.

   In its first month of release, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back sold 500,000 copies without significant promotional efforts by its distributing label Columbia Records. It peaked at number 42 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and at number one on the Top Black Albums chart. On August 22, 1989, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of at least one million copies in the United States. Since 1991, when the tracking system Nielsen SoundScan began tracking domestic sales data, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back has sold 722,000 additional copies as of 2010.


   Fear of a Black Planet is the third studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released April 10, 1990, on Def Jam Recordings and Columbia Records. Production for the album was handled by the group's production team The Bomb Squad, who expanded on the dense, sample-layered sound of the group's previous album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988). They constructed elaborate sound collages for the album's music, incorporating varying rhythms, numerous samples, media sound bites, and eccentric music loops, which reflected the content's confrontational tone. Fear of a Black Planet contains themes concerning organization and empowerment within the African-American community, while presenting criticism of social issues affecting African Americans at the time of the album's conception.

   The album debuted at number 40 on the US Billboard Top Pop Albums, selling one million copies in its first week. It subsequently peaked at number 10 on the chart and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Upon its release, Fear of a Black Planet received general acclaim from music critics, who praised its musical quality, sonic detail, societal themes, and insightful lyrics, and was ranked one of the best albums in 1990 by various publications. It has since been recognized as one of hip hop's greatest and most important albums, as well as musically and culturally significant. In 2003, the album was ranked number 300 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2005, it was chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.


   Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black is the fourth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released October 3, 1991 on Def Jam Recordings in the United States. It debuts production team Imperial Grand Ministers of Funk, which consisted of producers Stuart Robertz, Cerwin 'C-Dawg' Depper, Gary G-Wiz, and The JBL. The album peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart and at number 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. On November 26, 1991, it was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America, following sales in excess of 1 million copies.

   The album title refers to the film Apocalypse Now and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

   The singles released from the album were "Can't Truss It", "Shut Em Down" and its B-side "By the Time I Get to Arizona" (samples "Two Sisters of Mystery" by Mandrill and a live version of "Walk on By" by the Jackson 5), in which Public Enemy was depicted in the video killing the Arizona governor, Evan Mecham, who refused to recognize Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday as a national holiday.

   The album also included the thrash cover of their earlier hit "Bring the Noise" featuring Anthrax and "Get the Fuck Outta Dodge" - a previously released B-Side to the "Can't Do Nuttin' for Ya Man" single from Fear of a Black Planet.

  • Rolling Stone (10/3/91) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...attempts nothing short of setting a sociopolitical agenda for the black community....Apocalypse '91 needs to be watched..."
  • Q magazine (9/95, p. 132) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...fine by any but their own Olympian standards...showed Public Enemy ploughing old furrows..."
  • New York Times (9/29/91) - "...hip-hop's prophets of rage...with songs that mix political, personal and promotional statements in quick-cutting, often oblique language..."
  • NME (7/15/95, p. 47) - 7 (out of 10) - "...a more soulful, funkier stew than previously served but there were a couple of fillers....Good, but not as indispensable as its predecessors..."
  • Spin - Ranked #7 in Spin's list of the 20 Best Albums of 1991.
  • Melody Maker (12/91) - Ranked #21 in Melody Maker's list of the top 30 albums of 1991.

   Greatest Misses is Public Enemy's first compilation album released in 1992. It features new tracks (1-6) and re-mixes of previously released songs (7-13).


   Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age (stylization of Music and/in Our Message) is the fifth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released August 23, 1994 on Def Jam Recordings in the United States. The album debuted at number 14 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 56,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age received generally mixed to positive reviews from most music critics, amid controversy among critics and fans over Public Enemy's relevance in hip hop at the time.

   Due to a change of the album's release date, negative reviews from publications such as Rolling Stone and The Source were published a month prior to the album's first sales week. In spite of this, Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age fared better with its first week sales of 56,000 copies than most of Public Enemy's previous albums. The album quickly fell off the charts, as sales were negatively impacted by Def Jam's move from Sony to Polygram during its release.


   He Got Game is the sixth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released April 21, 1998 on Def Jam Recordings in the United States. It also serves as the soundtrack companion album to Spike Lee's 1998 film of the same name and is the group's last album for the Def Jam label. The album debuted at number 26 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, selling 46,282 copies in its first week. Upon its release, He Got Game received generally positive reviews from most music critics.


   There's a Poison Goin' On is the seventh studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released July 20, 1999 on Atomic Pop Records in the United States. Its title is adapted from the title of Sly & the Family Stone's album There's a Riot Goin' On (1971). The album was originally made available through the Internet on May 18, 1999, via the now defunct Atomic Pop website.

  • Rolling Stone (8/5/99, p. 64) - 3½ stars (out of 5) - "...there is some jigginess on this record....the emphasis is on sparser, more spacious mixes- less claustrophobic and dizzying...but still gripping..."
  • Alternative Press (11/99, p. 119) - 4 out of 5 - "...the still-strident PE are as an eyes-closed, headphones on high-volume experience. It takes extremely seriously the idea that hip hop should be consciousness-altering music..."
  • The Wire (8/99, p.55) - "Public Enemy are back and this time it's personal....Everyone...finds themselves caught in Chuck's rhetorical crosshairs and no one survives intact....this is the loudest, noisest Public Enemy album in nine years."
  • Muzik (8/99, p. 84) - 5 stars (out of 5) - "...defiant, provocative and reassuringly abrasive music....this album is a treat....Poison is vintage PE, all the more welcome at a time when there had seemed to be no one left who was prepared to make rational, thoughtful, incisive hip-hop."

   Revolverlution is the eighth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released July 23, 2002 on Koch Records in the United States. The album debuted at number 110 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Upon its release, it received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 65/100 from Metacritic.

  • Rolling Stone (9/5/02, pp. 70,72) - 3 stars out of 5 - "The aural rummage sale brings some timely noise while proving D can still deliver lyrical knocks to the deserving."
  • Q (1/03, p. 123) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Bound to satisfy loyal fans."
  • Uncut (01/03, p. 126) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Brutally eloquent, anti-authority cyber-funk, PE are still fighting the powers that be."
  • Mojo (12/02, p. 122) - "Works very well indeed....Public Enemy are still making music of great substance and potency."
  • The Washington Post (9/13/02, p. 15) - "a marvel of snazzy production....musically speaking, the album never loses traction. Therefore, it is dismaying how much the lyrics muck things up....Chuck D. doesn't so much elucidate an issue as present topics of conversation, ladling out generous portions of ad hominem."

   New Whirl Odor is the ninth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released in the U.S. on November 1, 2005. The title name for the album is a pun for New World Order. The song "MKLVFKWR" (Make Love, Fuck War) features the artist Moby.

  • Entertainment Weekly (No. 848, p.77) - "[I]t's refreshing to hear PE frontman Chuck D's stentorian voice hectoring, indicting, and pontificating like it was 1989 all over again." - Grade: B
  • Mojo (p.120) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Anyone needing passionate music that's both socially and politically engaged need look no further."
  • Mojo (p.60) - Ranked #2 in Mojo's "Top Ten Urban Albums of 2005."

   Rebirth of a Nation is the tenth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy and Paris, released on March 7, 2006. The album was Mixed and mastered at Data Stream Studio in San Francisco, Ca.

   Despite the Public Enemy branding on the album, many tracks were written and produced by MC Paris; the album itself was deemed a "special project" by Chuck D in order to differentiate it from other Public Enemy works. The album was released on Paris's own Guerrilla Funk label.

   The title of the album is a reference to the 1915 white supremacist film The Birth of a Nation as well as one of the group's prior albums, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.

   The album features appearances and guest spots by Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Conscious Daughters, MC Ren, Sista Souljah, and Kam.

  • Uncut (p. 94) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[T]he old blast furnace of focused fury still rages hard."
   The album sold 5,592 units in its first week out.


   How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? is the tenth studio album by American hip hop group Public Enemy, released August 7, 2007 on Slam Jamz Recordings in the United States. Its release coincided with the 20th anniversary of their career. The album debuted at number 49 on Independent Albums chart, and it received generally positive reviews from most music critics, based on an aggregate score of 71/100 from Metacritic. Music critic Robert Christgau named How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? the second best album of 2007.

  • Alternative Press (p.176) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Public Enemy remain fiercely independent and definitely seem revitalized."
  • The Wire (p.75) - "[T]his is PE's tenth studio album in their 20th year and their blunt anti-artiste, anti-materialist stance carries serious weight."
And now people listen to some good ol' Public Enemy: