Public Enemy – Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man

So, I was listening to XM radio’s classic hip hop station, Backspin, where I heard Public Enemy’s “Can’t Do Nuttin’ For Ya Man” and I was very surprised how much I enjoyed it.  Now, why would that be surprising?  Public Enemy is one of the most important hip hop groups there has ever been and they have put out countless great songs and albums.  I don’t disagree but there is one thing that has been keeping me from becoming a full fledged fan.  One little, skinny, loudmouthed, clock wearing, awful thing.  Flavor Flav is the worst.  Not the worst rapper or hype man or person or mammal.  Just the worst.  Period.

That being said, my actual enjoyment of this song was so surprising because Chuck D, the group’s frontman who is so talented that he is able to counterbalance Flav’s un-talent, is nowhere to be found.  Its just Flav all by himself with no one to take the focus off his nasally, cheese grater of a voice.  Flav’s contributions to Public Enemy songs usually involve yelling, “Yeaaaahhhhh Boooooyyy!” every minute or so and, as the late, great Greg Giraldo put it, looking like “a skeleton wrapped in electrical tape,” (But seriously he really is terrifying to look at).  Strangely, on this track from the 1990 release Fear of a Black Planet, he is actually putting strings of words together in a lyrically pleasant and melodious fashion (aka rapping) and hes not half bad at it.  Sure he didn’t write the words but he had to spit them out.  He certainly does a better job than any of the Black Eyed Peas could, and they are on the radio.

P.S.  Then I watched the video and I hated him all over again.


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