[INTERVIEW] Chuck D:<br />
A 'Hip Hop God' Speaks

A 'Hip Hop God' Speaks

The iconic Public Enemy frontman speaks on the group's transition into the digital world and how he's working to keep veteran emcees paid

Chris Williams

by Chris Williams, February 06, 2013

[INTERVIEW] Chuck D:<br />
A 'Hip Hop God' Speaks

Chuck D

people who felt that they had better control over the culture than he had. Another thing that is real disturbing is the disappearance of many Black artists before the age of 60 such as Michael Jackson, Rick James, Barry White, Donna Summer, Heavy D, and Luther Vandross. It is really disturbing how we’ve lost so many Black artists over the past ten to twelve years. It’s been mindboggling. Someone is always pulling the strings, but no one knows who is pulling the strings and controlling today’s artists. We can do better by identifying who makes somebody bigger by being derogatory to Black people and our legacy of culture. It’s not by no accident, you know what I’m saying.

EBONY:  How has your sound evolved from your first album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show to The Evil Empire of Everything? 

CD: The whole key is to never repeat yourself twice. That’s the bottom line with us. Never try to make the same record twice even when people are screaming for the same sound. I think the key in Public Enemy is never going back to it. You’re always going to sound like yourself, but you can make really strong attempts to keep some similarities, but move away from what you did before for popularity's sake.

EBONY: When were you notified that you were going to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and how did it make the group feel after you heard the news?

CD: I got a phone call and I had to tell the rest of the group...We’re looking forward to the induction ceremonies. We’re looking to have our own event the night before in Los Angeles before we go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the next day. To be in the company of all those legendary artists is fantastic. We’re musicologists and we’re deejays. So everyone in that room means something. Right now I’m trying to push for a certain presenter that we feel should be presenting us. It has to reach their clearance board and stuff like that. We’re going back and forth on that and, hopefully, everything works out.

Chris Williams is an internationally published writer. You can follow him on Twitter @CWmsWrites.

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