Public Enemy is one of the most iconic hip hop groups of all-time. In the midst of civil unrest (sort of like what we’re going through right now), Chuck D and (yes) Flavor Flav were there to answer the call. They don’t write as much as they used to, but they’ve still managed to keep their names in the presses through a variety of outlets (radio spots, features in music, VH1 dating shows, you know, the usual).
Most recently, Chuck D was interviewed by the great Rolling Stone magazine, explained the history of the logo.
“The United States Constitution once considered Black people to be three-fifths of a human being,” Chuck D said. “If this is a public document, obviously we must be the enemy, so that’s where the name Public Enemy came from.”
The group’s logo, which features a man in a b-boy stance in the crosshairs of a gun sight, also had political significance.
“The crosshairs logo symbolized the Black man in America,” Chuck D says. “A lot of people thought it was a straight trooper because of the hat, but the hat is one of the ones that Run-DMC wore. The B-Boy stance and the silhouette was more like the Black man on the target.”