Watch this 1987 anti-drug PSA from Public Enemy

Last week we posted about a 1980s anti-drug PSA from rappers Run DMC, specially released in support of the US initiative National Prevention Week, aimed at raising awareness about, and treatment of, drug and alcohol abuse.

Now, a second PSA has also emerged, this time from Public Enemy. Originally premiered back in 1987, the video was re-premiered on Ambrosia For Heads.

The clip featured Chuck D, Flavor Flav and Professor Griff, dressed in all-white outfits, talking about how drugs destroy your brain, and about how drug addicts are “pushing up daisies.” Their sentiments are positive and forward-thinking, similar to how Run DMC’s PSA professed the importance of going to school, staying off the streets, and avoiding gangs and drug users. Flav recalls how many of his friends are either dead or in prison as a result of drug use, and that kids shouldn’t go down the wrong track, before it’s too late to turn back.

Unfortunately Flav didn’t exactly take his own advice, once admitting to having spent more than USD$5.6 million on drugs in six years. He was also arrested just last week for multiple charges, including DUI and possession of marijuana. Substance abuse, domestic violence and attempted murder all plague his past, but in spite of this, we can still take his message and learn from it.

Public Enemy are now considered one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time. Back in 1987 however, they had only released their debut album Yo! Bum Rush The Show a few months earlier. It wasn’t until 1988 that they released the mammoth, game-changing It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.  

National Prevention Week is run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the US (SAMHSA.) Check out their website for more information, advice and educational tools.