Public Enemy (also referred to as P.E.) is a multi-platinum rap/hip-hop group from New York. Their song "Fight the Power" was conceived at the request of Spike Lee, who sought a musical theme for Do the Right Thing. Lee directed the music video for that song.
By the time Do the Right Thing was released, P.E. had become one of the popular rap/hip-hop groups of all time.
There are many references to Public Enemy in Do the Right Thing:
- "Fight the Power" can be heard in the film's opening credits.
- Radio Raheem usually plays nothing but "Fight the Power" on his boom box.
- Senor Love Daddy has a poster of the group's 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.
- During roll call of black celebrities, Love Daddy mentions Chuck D, one of the key members of Public Enemy.
- One of the other black characters, who is seen in the fire hydrant scene and again when the riots take place, wears a P.E. t-shirt.