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'Man Plans God Laughs' review: Timely statement from Public Enemy

Public Enemy's "Man Plans God Laughs" album.

Public Enemy's "Man Plans God Laughs" album. Credit: RCS Music

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.

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.


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