What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?

Public Enemy - What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2020 Ratings: #390 / 818
User Score
Based on 81 ratings
2020 Ratings: #880
Liked by 2 people
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The Arts Desk
Yes, this is more of the same, but that’s no bad thing. Why change such a potent formula? Especially when the fear of a black planet seems as relevant as ever. Public Enemy are, after all, the very finest proponents of "agithop", if you will. Kanye who?
Spill Magazine

What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down is an immediate hip hop classic from a group who have proved to be just as culturally significant in 2020 as they were in the ‘80s.

Continuing to hold leaders accountable in a time when it’s truly needed, the group’s fearless expressions of truth sound right at home pinned to a jet-fuelled backdrop of rip-roaring beats that hammer your eardrums and capture everything hip-hop should stand for.
What matters is that PE are not only still going after all this time, but still making music that matters.
Classic Rock

Recycling several tracks from their 2017 download-only collection Nothing Is Quick In The Desert, Chuck D and Flavor Flav find themselves urgently back in lockstep with the zeitgeist in an age of rage, Trump, pandemic paranoia and escalating police brutality.


What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down? is mostly Public Enemy doing what they’ve always done—offering insight about what’s happening in the world around us and prodding folks to wake up and do the right thing. It’s a space they’ve held for over three decades, and one where they’re always welcome.

It's not the sound of a group resting on their laurels, it's the sound of a band summoning their strengths with a hint of sentiment to figure out how to deal with a world gone mad.
Consequence of Sound

What You Gonna Do… is a social, economic, and political statement for 2020.

Up front old school hip-hop that utilises the best in modern production techniques, ‘What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down?’ is an electrifying experience.

Lyrically strong, thought provoking and groovy as hell, What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? shows to the world that Public Enemy still have plenty of gas left in the tank.

Rolling Stone
Being weirdly relevant yet proudly in their own world, passionately urgent yet resolutely ornery, has often been a PE hallmark, and here they nail a potent mix of “fight the powers that be” and “get the fuck off my lawn.”

Though the execution isn’t always perfect, I thoroughly respect Public Enemy’s commitment to their storied past, and their efforts to remind people of their importance in the tapestry of hip-hop culture.


Unlikely purveyors of comfort music, Public Enemy offer a balm for an ominous future on What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?.

The Observer
This mashup of tracks from a free album and retreads of classics should have been a mixtape.
Old-school skills, slivers of psych guitar and a fresh message.
Despite a political climate offering maximum grist to the mill, it seems new material was in relatively short supply when PE assembled their 15th studio album.
what happen to public enemy now they are is just borning of the pubic
While it's some of the best material that's come from Public Enemy in the later stage of their career, we already heard the same things from them said better on some of their classic albums and it still sounds horribly dated in terms of flows and delivery.
The fact that they used almost the exact same artwork as their last album that dropped 3 years ago, just goes to show the amount of “effort” that went In to this project and that has been going In to PE releases since 1991.
Better than any of their records from the 2010's by far. This is largely thanks to help from the likes of DJ Premier, Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, George Clinton, Nas, The Roots, Run-DMC and more legends. Though it is notably their best lyrical content in a long time, after going through some majorly corny material on previous recent releases.
The new album of hip-hop veterans is still standard for them, it is the usual classic hip-hop reworked into a modern look.
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Track List

  1. When The Grid Go Down... (feat. George Clinton)
  2. GRID (feat. Cypress Hill & George Clinton)
  3. State Of The Union (feat. DJ Premier)
  4. Merica Mirror
  5. Public Enemy Number Won (feat. Mike D, Adrock & Run-DMC)
  6. Toxic
  7. Yesterday Man (feat. Daddy-O)
  8. Crossroads Burning
  9. Fight The Power: Remix 2020 (feat. Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, Jahi, YG & Questlove)
  10. Beat Them All
  11. Smash The Crowd (feat. Ice-T & PMD)
  12. If You Can't Join Em Beat Em
  13. Go At It (feat. Jahi)
  14. Don't Look At The Sky
  15. Rest In Beats (feat. The Impossebulls)
  16. R.I.P. Blackat
  17. Closing: I Am Black
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Added on: August 28, 2020