Chuck D is one of the most important figures in the history of hip-hop music. He is the founder and lead rapper for the hugely influential (and controversial) band Public Enemy, which created a powerful mix of politically-charged lyrics and layered, aggressive sounds. Their second album, 1988’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time, and is considered to be hugely important for making rap music popular with white audiences. Other notable Public Enemy albums include Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987), Fear of a Black Planet (1990), Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1991), and How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? (2007).
Chuck D answered the following questions by email on 1/6/12 for a preview article for Public Enemy’s 1/14/12 concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater. (L. Paul Mann photo)
Public Enemy at the Sunset Strip Music Festival, 8/20/11 (L. Paul Mann photos, copyrighted and all rights reserved)