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Chuck D

As the founder of Public Enemy, Chuck D. is one of the most colossal figures in the history of hip-hop, not to mention its most respected intellectual. He redefined hip-hop as music with a message, and his strident radicalism ushered in an era when rap was closely scrutinized for its content; although rap's primary concerns have changed over the years, its status as America's most controversial art form has only gotten stronger since Public Enemy hit the scene. Chuck D. was born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour in Roosevelt, Long Island, on August 1, 1960. His parents were both political activists, and he was a highly intelligent student, turning down an architecture scholarship to study graphic design at Long Island's Adelphi University. While in school, he put his talents to use making promotional flyers for hip-hop events, and went on to co-host a hip-hop mix show on the campus radio station with two future Public Enemy cohorts, Bill Stephney and Hank Shocklee. Under the name Chuckie D, he rapped on Shocklee's demo recording, "Public Enemy No. 1," which caught the interest of Rick Rubin at Def Jam. In response, the now simply named Chuck D. assembled Public Enemy, a group designed to support the force of his rhetoric with noisy, nearly avant-garde soundscapes. Public Enemy debuted in 1987 with Yo! Bum Rush the Show, a dry run for one of the greatest three-album spans in hip-hop history. Released in 1988, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back was acclaimed by many critics as the greatest hip-hop album of all time, and was instrumental in breaking rap music to white, alternative rock audiences. Fear of a Black Planet (1990) and its follow-up, Apocalypse '91...The Enemy Strikes Black, consolidated Public Enemy's position as the most important rap group of its time. There were storms of controversy along the way, most notably Chuck D.'s endorsement of the polarizing Muslim minister Louis Farrakhan, and group member Professor Griff's highly publicized anti-Semitic slurs. But on the whole, Public Enemy's groundbreaking body of work established Chuck D. as one of the most intelligent, articulate spokesmen for the black community. He became an in-demand speaker on the college lecture circuit (much like his peer KRS-One), and was frequently invited to provide commentary on TV news programs. Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (1994) found the group's status slipping, and the following year Chuck put PE on hiatus while planning its next move. In the meantime, he released his first solo album, The Autobiography of Mistachuck, in 1996, and published the book version of his autobiography the following year. He reconvened Public Enemy for the soundtrack to Spike Lee's 1998 film, He Got Game, and the following year left Def Jam over the label's refusal to allow him to distribute Public Enemy music via free Internet downloads. Signing with the web-based Atomic Pop label, Chuck became an outspoken advocate of MP3 technology, and made 1999's There's a Poison Goin' On... the first full-length album by a major artist to be made available over the Internet (it was later released on CD as well). He continued his lecturing into the new millennium and made regular appearances on the Fox News Channel as a commentator. Even if Public Enemy never recaptures the popularity or vitality of its glory years, Chuck D.'s legacy is secure enough to keep him a respected voice on the American cultural landscape. ~ Steve Huey
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Stations Featuring
Chuck D

Albums by
Chuck D

Top Songs by
Chuck D

  1.   Song
  2.   Sunday Morning by B-Easy
  3.   Wack Rappers by Nappy P
  4.   Hit the Road
  5.   FXCK Wit Me by T.T.U.
  6.   Endonesia
  7.   Keep It Movin
  8.   Niggativity...Do I Dare Disturb The Universe?
  9.   Intro
  10.   Free Big Willie
  11.   Slow
  12.   Wake Up the Sleeping Giant
  13.   Generation Wrekkked
  14.   How We Do It featuring Jay Brykz
  15.   Atomic Drink
  16.   Paid
  17.   But Can You Kill The Nigger In You?
  18.   Horizontal Heroin
  19.   No
  20.   The Pride
  21.   So Walk
  22.   Mistachuck
  23.   I'm On
  24.   Trick Or Treat
  25.   Survival
  26.   Underdog
  27.   Talk Show Created the Fool
  28.   Do You Know by Tone
  29.   Stand Clear
  30.   Chuck D City
  31.   Get Away From Here
  32.   Breeze In The Song
  33.   What It Do by The Problemadix
  34.   Make Sense by Nappy P
  35.   Breathing Techno
  36.   Successful by Kidd Carson
  37.   Twist'd by King Louie
  38.   Gunslinging Bird
  39.   It's the Pride
  40.   Freedom of Speech featuring Ice-T
  41.   A.F.R.I.C. A: featuring Babatunde Olatunji
  42.   Abortion by Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew
  43.   Generation Wrekkked
  44.   Odyssey of Big Boy
  45.   ID
  46.   Everybody Pays the Man With the Cigar
  47.   B Side Winds Again featuring DJ Spooky
  48.   Soul Power
  49.   Make It Funky
  50.   Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved
  51.   Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud
  52.   It's a Man's Man's World
  53.   King Heroin
  54.   Talking Loud, Saying Nothing
  55.   Think Mama for the Soul Sisters
  56.   Super Bad
  57.   Funky President
  58.   Medly: Outro/King Heroin
  59.   It's a Man's World
  60.   [Bonus Material]
  61.   Destroy All Masters by Melquan
  62.   Into
  63.   The Noize (Interlude) by Jay Wells
  64.   Say It Loud I'm Black and Proud
  65.   Outro featuring Kyle Jason & The Banned
  66.   B Side Wins Again featuring DJ Spooky
  67.   Survival A.K.A. Black Survivors
  68.   No (No Holds Barred Part 1)
  69.   No (Mr. Elite Part 2)
  70.   No (Cycle "Ice" Jason)
  71.   No (Revenge of the Anti-Pimps)
  72.   Gunslinger
  73.   Rock da Funky Beats
  74.   The Message

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