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Anthrax’s Scott Ian on Public Enemy, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Scott Legato, Getty Images

Public Enemy will be inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week and one person who definitely feels the group deserves the honor is Anthrax’s Scott Ian.

“In 1986, ’87 and ’88, Public Enemy was my favorite band on the planet,” he says. “They changed music. [Their 1987 album] It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, I compare that album to The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Guns ‘N Roses’ Appetite For Destruction or Led Zeppelin‘s IV. It you make a list of albums that changed the world, that changed the way we hear music, that album has to be on that list. It was so mind-blowingly sonically different from anything that anyone had ever heard. It was lyrically so strong. And scary – in a good way.”

He thinks that helped the band a lot.

“I used to think that it was a great thing that people were afraid of Public Enemy,” he explained. “A band could actually make people afraid! That’s incredible that they could evoke that kind of emotion.”

Still, Ian, whose band Anthrax famously collaborated and toured with Public Enemy, is not entirely sure the group deserves to be in the Hall before some other notable rock bands. Remember, a lot of people don’t think hip-hop belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the first place.

“Do they deserve to be in before KISS and Deep Purple?” Ian asks. “No. I don’t think Chuck D would argue that point, if he was asked. But they absolutely deserve to be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I’m happy for Chuck and [Flavor] Flav, they’re two of my favorite artists and favorite people, and I love working with them. So yeah, I’m stoked for them.”

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