Fight The Power

From Prince Vault
Jump to: navigation, search
Fast Car   < < < Non-Prince Songs All Prince Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Fire
Fight The Power

Song details
Performer: SymbolSmallerBlue.png
Writer(s): Chuck D, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, Hank Shocklee and Keith Shocklee
Producer(s): Prince (assumed)
Live Appearances
First and last live appearance:
Performed regularly on tour:
  • None
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • 1999, 2000
  • See the trivia section for the original version

Fight The Power is an unreleased cover version of the song by Public Enemy (written by Chuck D, Eric "Vietnam" Sadler, Hank Shocklee and Keith Shocklee, from the 1989 Do the Right Thing soundtrack (and included on the band’s 1990 album Fear Of A Black Planet). According to engineer H.M. Buff, Kirk Johnson created a drumloop for the song, in early July 1999, after which Prince recorded a guitar over it. That was all the work done to that song on that day.

The song was then performed live on 10 July 1999 (a.m.) before its studio version premiered during a Paisley Park Studios party on 7 August 1999 (a.m.). SymbolSmallerBlue.png’s version of the track remains unreleased, although soon after its recording, SymbolSmallerBlue.png’s track Undisputed, featuring Chuck D (who rapped on and co-wrote Fight The Power), was released on Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic.

Interestingly, Wendy Melvoin said in an interview in 2016 that Fight The Power was the song that changed Prince’s appreciation of rap music: "I remember after we broke the band up (The Revolution), and Do The Right Thing has just come out, Lisa and I went to Minneapolis and I was a fanatic for the main title song. I put it on there, at Paisley, and he seemed visibly angry at the track. It was because he was so uneasy, I think, with Chuck D and the cadence of Chuck’s voice being in that lower, sort of demanding frequency, kind of freaked him out. It was like, "why am I being assaulted with that?". And as soon as it was played in the room, everybody was getting up and dancing. I think it’s like when the Metal people when they heard Nirvana they said "Oh my God, it’s changed". I think he knew it changed, right there [with Fight The Power], he knew it." According to Lisa: "It was almost the antithesis of what Prince was trying to do. He was aiming at your grandmother now, not at your kids. Chuck D was aiming at the kids."

Recording Information
Recording Sessions
Date Studio Additional info
7 July 1999 Paisley Park Studios,
Chanhassen, MN, USA
Recording Personnel

Unreleased Versions
Title Version Additional Info
Fight The Power (instrumental) Studio

Additional Information

See also Trivia

  • The intro of the original version by Public Enemy uses a sample of "Grip It" by Trouble Funk. This part was incorporated into most of the live versions of Bambi from 1990 to 2014. It is unclear if Prince included this part in reference to this little known song by Trouble Funk or to its sample on Fight The Power (see the trivia section of Bambi for details).

Fast Car   < < < All Songs Unreleased Songs > > >   Fire