Public Enemy's Archive Series Deserves Release! sign now

To Whom It May Concern at Universal Music:

We, the Undersigned, are making our opinions known in support of the classic hip-hop/rock band Public Enemy. 2007 will mark the 20th Anniversary of Public Enemy as a recorded band. As fans of the group, and of the era of rap that they represent, we look forward to the remastered re-releases of "Power to the People and the Beats: Greatest Videos" DVD, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back: Soul of a Nation edition" double-CD, "Fear of a Black Planet: Fear of the Dark edition" double-CD, "Flavor Flav's Def Jams" CD, a multi-disc Public Enemy boxed set, and a remastered, multi-disc compilation of Public Enemy's out-of-print VHS home video catalog. As stated by Chuck D on the band's website, www.Publicenemy.com, there are attorneys within Universal Music's internal ranks who fear that Public Enemy's music and videos are "too hot" to touch for re-release for a perceived legal backlash: On the musical side this would be due to allegedly-- key word: ALLEGEDLY-- uncleared samples, from unconfirmed sources including but not limited to unauthorized "sample breakdown" websites. On the video side, this would be due to allegedly uncleared waivers for various extras and passers-by who may appear in certain video clips. Both of these rationales for the burying of Public Enemy's audio/video archives do a disservice to both the group and the fans of their music, who have been loyally buying their records, tapes and CDs since 1987.

As a rebuttal to the audio/sampling rationale, Public Enemy's entire Def Jam/Universal catalog is still being actively solicited to stores and sold, thus, continuing to put out the records in single-disc form should have no bearing on putting them out in a special re-released 2-disc package. As a rebuttal to the video rationale, most of these clips were recorded circa 1987 - 1998. Any "un-waivered" extras appearing in the videos, especially concert scenes, are simply by happenstance, and should not be looked upon as a potential lawsuit.

Universal/Chronicles/Hip-O have been doing an otherwise fine job of re-releasing catalog material from your vast stable of artists and bands. We, the fans of Public Enemy, would look very harshly upon the practices of Def Jam/Universal, if this situation is not rectified in a satisfactory mannner-- specifically, cooperating with Public Enemy members to release all of their planned special archival products.

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Freda RosalesBy:
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Universal Music Executives

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