Today April 18th 2013 is Public Enemy Day… Yep that’s right.. Today we celebrate the landmark group that has been together for almost 30 years.. They are deemed Hip Hop Royalty and tonight they get inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.
Last night they performed at House of Blues in LA and absolutely killed.. DJ Terminator X who retired from the group several years ago to do some ostrich farming.. returned to the fold to help celebrate.. Also on hand at HOB was Kool Moe Dee and the Treacherous Three, DMC, Doug E Fresh, Method Man, Whodini, JJ Fad and many more.. It was a testament to the love and respect folks have for Public Enemy..
I first met Chuck D back in summer of ’88 at the New Music Seminar when the group was just starting to make noise.. They had already released their album Yo Bum Rush the Show..But it was Nation of Millions and the singles like Rebel Without a Pause that came off that album that forever define the musicality of the group.
Chuck D along with fellow group members, Professor Griff, Flava and S1Ws willingness to sit down and build with folks for hours at a time would forever define the group as stand up individuals who would garner life long friendships and relationships with folks all over the world.. I know for myself, I would hang with Chuck for hours after a show building on all sorts of stuff related to politics and Hip Hop in general. It was he , who got me to abandon my fear of flying , get a passport and see the world, a move I have never regretted. thousands of folks have stories about uplifting interactions with the group..
In any case, as we celebrate their induction, i went digging through my archives and found an old cassette from an interview/press conference Chuck and I believe Brother Roger or James from the S1Ws did on after one of their early concerts in Oakland. It was at the Kaiser Convention Center in 1989.. EMPD was on the ticket.. I never played the interview on air, because at the time, my tape recorder had run out of batteries and the sound was all messed up.. I finally transferred it over to my digital docks and cleaned it up somewhat and am now happy to share.. What Chuck is talking about in 1989 is why so many at the time were drawn to the group. The honesty, the fearlessness, the intelligence..
In this interview, Chuck’s main theme was dealing with outsides points of view trying to dictate terms and regulate on folks.. Chuck also takes issue with famed writer Greg Tate who trashed the group in a column he penned for the Village Voice. Chuck noted Tate was an ‘outsider’.. I started recording just as someone was asking about violence in Hip Hop.
Chuck D pt1
Chuck D pt2
Below is a great documentary on Public Enemy called Prophets of Rage…Definitely worth watching