Goddess, guerrilla, guitar-slinger. Singer, songwriter, sorceress. Sculptor, poet, performer. Polly Jean Harvey’s arrival on American shores in 1992 with her power trio PJ Harvey startled everyone — a siren call into a tantalizingly deep, dark vision, potently punk and powerfully female. Over nearly three decades and a dozen albums, she’s morphed from electric blues-infused upstart to authoritative rock stateswoman, but has never strayed from an uncompromising artistic core, and a talent for surprise.
In the venerated 1989 film “Do the Right Thing,” director Spike Lee shows how festering issues can snowball. A sobering reflection of American race relations, it remains equally significant for launching Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.”
“We have coined our own term for what we do: Raptivism,” Chuck D explained during Public Enemy’s 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction speech. Most musicians are put into genres; exceptional artists create their own. In February of 1987, with the release of its debut LP “Yo! Bum Rush the Show,” Public Enemy entered with a boom and forever changed the trajectory of hip-hop. The group created a catalog of disruptive protest music, addressing issues that still resonate after 30 years.