Music Video of the Day: Fight The Power by Public Enemy (1989, dir. Spike Lee)


I had to do this video eventually. It’s one of those that’s so infamous that I’m going to point you to the Wikipedia article. I have no intention of discussing the messy history of Public Enemy. I will also point you to the video the Rap Critic did on the song.

I’m posting this while it’s still relevant to mention that this was the theme song for Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing (1989), which was the movie Barack and Michelle went to see on their first date.

As for the people who worked on the video, I honestly had no idea that Spike Lee directed music videos. According to mvdbase, he has done about 40 of them going back to White Lines by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five in 1983. Oh, and yes, Lee did direct Hip Hop Hooray by Naughty By Nature. I guess that’s where that urban legend came from that Obama was in that music video.

The video was shot by Ernest Dickerson. He seems to have only shot 4 music videos, but there is one that is noteworthy considering he did this one. He shot Born In The U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen. Dickerson went on to do a lot of work as both a cinematographer and a director, including episodes of The Walking Dead and the movie Juice (1992).

Hank Blumenthal was the script supervisor for this music video. I’m not sure if I’ve ever come across that credit before on a music video. He appears to have worked on about 10 music videos and has worked as a producer.

If you haven’t seen Do The Right Thing, then do so. If you haven’t heard this song or seen the video, then also do so.

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