Blockbuster rap group included rappers Chuck D and Flavor Flav and dj supreme Terminator X. Their album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back hit the rap scene with its militant lyrics and chaotic, hard sound.

PE started a genre that later would become hardcore rap and then gansta rap. Even though PE's lyrics themselves typically preached culture-awareness more than violence, the violent side of their music was the primary media focus.