I don’t need a ton of words to describe the way I feel about the cover for Public Enemy’s sophomore album, 1988's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Mostly, I just need to say how bad ass it is. And especially how bad ass it was to a 9-year-old whose big sister was into Black Power and hip-hop with consciousness to it. Chuck and Flav in a jail cell looking like they both don’t care that they’re there but that the cell can’t hold them down is a powerful, powerful image.
I’ve long thought that Public Enemy had one of the best brand logos in hip-hop, and this album cover seems to take it up a notch. And considering how amazing the album is as well, you have the recipe for an iconic, classic piece work from the roota to the toota.
And there’s nothing that can hold that back.