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In the summer of 1989, wherever you went — every house party, every car stereo, every street corner boom-box — you’d hear the same two tracks shredding the speakers: Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” and N.W.A’s “F—- tha Police.” It was the summer where rap was shifting gears and breaking wide, and these two groups were leading the way.

Yet while both jams spoke to the ‘hood, they presented two very distinct profiles of what it meant to be young, black and over-policed. Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power” was the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s explosive “Do the Right Thing,” a movie which dealt head-on with street-level racism and the “guilty until proven innocent” attitude toward black men.

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