The song, an updated version of Public Enemy No. 1, which appeared on the Long Island rap group‘s ground-breaking 1987 album Yo! Bum Rush The Show, is featured on Public Enemy’s fifteenth studio album, What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?, which was released in September on Def Jam Recordings, the legendary New York rap label founded in 1984 by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. The song’s video features a host of visual references to the Def Jam’s early years, considered by many to be a golden age for hip-hop.
The song is an homage to ‘Public Enemy No. 1 and that moment in time,” explains Chuck D. “The Beastie Boys and Run-DMC were playing it all the time and Rick Rubin kept coming at us to sign with Def Jam. So it’s my way of bringing it all back together again.”
What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? includes cameo appearances by Nas, Mike D and Ad-Rock of Beastie Boys, YG, Rapsody, DJ Premier, Black Thought, Questlove, Cypress Hill, Run-DMC, Ice-T, PMD, George Clinton, Daddy-O, Jahi, The Impossebulls, Mark Jenkins, S1Ws Pop Diesel and James Bomb. It features an update of another classic old school PE jam, Fight The Power: Remix 2020 with guest contribuitions from Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, YG, Jahi and Questlove.