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Fight The Power

Fight The Power

Public Enemy
Fear of a Black Planet

Song meaning of Fight The Power by Public Enemy, and what it is about

"Fight the Power" was once compared by Chuck D to Pete Seeger's rendition of "We Shall Overcome." He explained that the song "Fight the Power" highlights the benefits of speaking out in music.

Chuck and the group's producers, the Bomb Squad, took inspiration from the Isley Brothers' funky "Fight the Power" and used the title as a blueprint for a brand-new war cry.

Filmmaker Spike Lee had originally asked Public Enemy to write an anthem for Do the Right Thing, a movie about confronting white supremacy.

James Brown's music, civil rights sermons, black church services, and other elements of African-American culture are all included into the song "Fight the Power" in numerous samples and allusions.

“I think it was Public Enemy’s and Spike Lee’s defining moment because it had awoken the Black community to a revolution that was akin to the Sixties revolution, where you had Martin Luther King or Malcolm X,” the Bomb Squad’s Hank Shocklee once said. “It made the entire hip-hop community recognize its power. Then the real revolution began.”

Lyrics of Fight The Power by Public Enemy


1989 the number another summer (get down)

Sound of the funky drummer

Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul

(Brothers and sisters, hey)

Listen if you're missing y'all

Swinging while I'm singin'

Giving whatcha gettin'

Knowing what I knowin'

While the Black band's sweating

And the rhythm rhymes rolling

Got to give us what we want

Gotta give us what we need

Our freedom of speech is freedom of death

We got to fight the powers that be

Lemme hear you say

Fight the power


Fight the power

We've got to fight the powers that be


As the rhythm's designed to bounce

What counts is that the rhyme's

Designed to fill your mind

Now that you've realized the pride's arrived

We got to pump the stuff to make ya tough

From the heart

It's a start, a work of art

To revolutionize make a change nothing's strange

People, people we are the same

No we're not the same

'Cause we don't know the game

What we need is awareness, we can't get careless

You say what is this?

My beloved let's get down to business

Mental self defensive fitness

(Yo) bum rush the show

You gotta go for what you know

To make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be

Lemme hear you say

Fight the power


Fight the power

We've got to fight the powers that be


Elvis was a hero to most

But he never meant shit to me you see

Straight up racist that sucker was

Simple and plain

Motherfuck him and John Wayne

'Cause I'm Black and I'm proud

I'm ready and hyped plus I'm amped

Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps

Sample a look back you look and find

Nothing but rednecks for 400 years if you check

Don't worry be happy

Was a number one jam

Damn if I say it you can slap me right here

(Get it) let's get this party started right

Right on, c'mon

What we got to say

Power to the people no delay

Make everybody see

In order to fight the powers that be


Fight the power

We've got to fight the powers that be

Release Date



Carlton Ridenhour, Eric Sadler, Hank Boxley, Keith Boxley


The Bomb Squad



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