The timing couldn't be better for a new Public Enemy album. "Man Plans God Laughs" (RCS Music) arrives at a point where the systems the Roosevelt-based group have been questioning for decades are now being questioned by much of the country.
"All you got is your money -- only thing that y'all can stand on," Chuck D raps in the standout track "Honky Talk Rules." "Shutting my culture down, it ain't funny."
Built over a sample of the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women," he puts his protest over a beat that the mainstream can relate to in terms it can understand.Critics' picks50 best LI entertainment momentsPhotos25 best albums of 2015Photos11 LI entertainment places we loved
Public Enemy follows that with "Those Who Know, Know Who" and "Mine Again" -- two tracks that are straight-up current hip-hop, built on great beats and production from Gary G-Wiz.
"Corplantationopoly" shows exactly how the group became Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, with Flavor Flav's lightheartedness balancing the knowledge Professor Griff is dropping, while Chuck D pushes the whole thing forward.
"Man Plans God Laughs" offers nods to Public Enemy's storied past, but shows that the group's eyes remain focused on the future.
THE GRADE B+