Public Enemy

Welcome to the Terrordome

Song Review by

Arguably the production peak of the Bomb Squad and one of Chuck D.'s best rapping performances ever, Public Enemy's "Welcome to the Terrordome" is a complete sonic apocalypse, driven by samples from no less than three James Brown tracks plus the shimmering, paranoid guitar line from the Temptations' "Psychedelic Shack." Recorded for 1990's Fear of a Black Planet, "Welcome to the Terrordome" begins with just a few seconds of horns before launching into an incredibly dense production that lasts most of the track. And from his first words, "I got so much trouble on my mind," Chuck D. admits he's going to speak out on a number of topics. Conjuring raps that are almost as dizzying as the production, Chuck presses the point with dozens of internal rhymes: "Lazer, anastasia, maze ya/Ways to blaze your brain and train ya" or "Sad to say I got sold down the river/Still some quiver when I deliver/Never to say I never knew or had a clue/Word was heard, plus hard on the boulevard/Lies, scandalizin', basin'/Traits of hate who's celebratin' wit Satan?" Even while he's rapping, the Bomb Squad and Terminator X drop countless samples and end the song with the oft-sampled "come on, you can get it-get it-get it" from the underground disco classic "I Got My Mind Made Up" by Instant Funk. Listening to most any Public Enemy track was enough to make you think the revolution was here, but none of their tracks were more musically incendiary than "Welcome to the Terrordome."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Theodore: An Alternative Music Sampler 1988
Various Artists
Columbia 0:00
Fear of a Black Planet 1990 Def Jam 5:25
No Image 1991
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 5:26
Def Jam Music Group Inc. 10th Year Anniversary 1995
Various Artists
Def Jam 5:27
No Image 1998 Chronicles 5:44
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Public Enemy 2001 Def Jam 5:25
Best 1200 2005 Universal Distribution
Power to the People and the Beats: Public Enemy's Greatest Hits 2005 Def Jam 5:26
Back to Mine 2006 DMC 5:22
Def Jam Recordings 25th Anniversary 2009
Various Artists
Def Jam 0:00
25th Anniversary Collection 2013 Def Jam / Universal / Universal International 5:26
Ministry of Sound Anthems: Hip Hop, Vol. 4 2014
Various Artists
Ministry of Sound 0:00
Icon 2 2014 Def Jam 5:26
Icon 2014 Def Jam 5:26