Home / Music & Arts / Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power' bookends Oscars

Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power' bookends Oscars

The song "Fight the Power" opened the 88th Annual Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock and closed the show Sunday. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The song “Fight the Power” opened the 88th Annual Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock and closed the show Sunday. 

Public Enemy’s politically-charged anthem for change — “Fight the Power” — underscored the Academy Awards lack of diversity like bookends.

The New York group’s song opened and closed the 88th Oscars, an unexpected beat during Sunday’s telecast already skewered by host Chris Rock for years of ignoring minority artists.

“The song Fight the Power is beyond me & the crew,” tweeted Chuck D, 55, the group’s legendary frontman. “The point of the song is a call to making change eventually, not just applauding the thought.”

Public Enemy, a legendary hip-hop band, had one of its most famous songs played twice during the 88th Academy Awards. JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images

Public Enemy, a legendary hip-hop band, had one of its most famous songs played twice during the 88th Academy Awards. 

It’s unclear who was responsible for plugging Public Enemy’s jam into the Oscars, but the song’s use did not go unnoticed.

The song was first used in Spike Lee’s 1989 film “Do the Right Thing.”

Rapper Chuck D of the hip-hop group "Public Enemy" said his song "Fight the Power" is about  "making change eventually, not just applauding the thought.”Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Rapper Chuck D of the hip-hop group “Public Enemy” said his song “Fight the Power” is about  “making change eventually, not just applauding the thought.”

Lee, one of the most vocal supporters of the #OscarsSoWhite movement, skipped the Oscars by wearing a tuxedo and gold sneakers to a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

“This is the second year in a row where there had been no people of color nominations and the acting category,” the film director told WABC-TV. “That’s why we’re not there.”

Chuck D’s tweets throughout the awards show called for communities to support their local arts rather than household names. As for the Oscars, he told fans to continue their protest against the “collective force” that has marred the entertainment industry.

“Attack them and their ethics individually all year if you want attention,” he wrote, before adding a caveat. “I do music, not movies.”

The rapper also criticized the amount of attention given to Stacey Dash for her brief Oscar’s cameo making light of Black History Month rather than Julie Dash, a Queens filmmaker celebrated for highlighting Rosa Parks in a television movie.

nhensley@nydailynews.com

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Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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