Hip hop and rock came together for Public Enemy's genre-bending set at Made in America Festival.
"Everybody put their fists in the air!" said Chuck D as he commanded the attention of the late afternoon crowd in front of the Rocky Stage. Flavor Flav brought his colorful personality to the stage toting his signature, comically large clock necklace and bright green shirt with his own face and catchphrase: "Yeah Boyyeee!"
Their set was fully orchestrated with a DJ, live band and even backup dancers. The backup dancers were three men dressed in black military garb who moved with coordination and precision. Their guitarist showed off his rock heavy moves by full on teeth shredding the strings of his instrument. Flavor Flav even impressivly slapped and strummed a bass for an entire song.
While vibes were high and Public Enemy was putting on a show that proved they could keep up with young rockstars and rappers, the afternoon was not void of their trademark politcal commentary. "He got killed in cold blood," shouted Chuck D in reference to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Public Enemy then brought out a special guest to make an important statement about Philadelphia's current public school closing. Heather Marcus was a Philadelphia school counselor who started a Twitter awareness campaign to grab the attention of Made in America performers. Her goal? To reach out and encourage Made In America artists to donate a percentage of the profits made from the festival to the reform of the City's public school system. Public Enemy was inpired by her cause and invited her to address the crowd for a powerful public statement. Chuck D then vowed to donate $10,000 to the Philadelphia public school system.
Before making an entrance to the stage, Public Enemy representatives stood with a long vinyl banner that read "FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL" – referring to the American convict who is currently serving a life sentence for a murdering Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in 1981.