Date of Interview: 10/21/2009
© 2009 Clayton Perry
Without a doubt, Chuck D is one of hip-hop’s most vocal spokespersons. For the past three decades, as a member of Public Enemy, his socially and politically-charged lyrics have challenged music lovers to “fight the power that be,” while reminding them about the dangers of complacency.
Outside of the music arena, Chuck D has also found a welcome home in lecture halls across the United States—stretching (and challenging) the minds of countless college students. Nonetheless, his central message rings clear: “don’t believe the hype.”
In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Public Enemy as #44 on its Immortals list, which highlighted the 100 greatest artists of all time. Upon the release of the Public Enemy’s forthcoming album, Chuck D managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on the past, present and future of hip-hop.