Interview with rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy

This is a music video of Public Enemy’s She Watch Channel Zero.

From British weekly The Observer:

Return of the great rap rebel

Public Enemy‘s 1988 album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, was a landmark in hip hop, as politically powerful as it was musically inventive. On its 20th anniversary, band leader Chuck D tells Sean O’Hagan why now is the right time to re-form …

In a way, he is the Noam Chomsky of hip hop, a full-time activist who still takes his cue from the community-based politics of the Black Panthers in the late Sixties.

‘I don’t understand the direction hip hop has gone in,’ he says quietly, sounding resigned rather than angry. ‘Rap is supposed to be about keeping it real and not relinquishing your roots in the community. Without that, it’s just posturing. Somebody who claims to speak for the hood don’t need no private jet.’ …

I ask him, in conclusion, the inevitable question: does he, as an avowed hater of governments, support Barack Obama? He falls uncharacteristically silent for a moment or two. ‘I support him for all the right and all the wrong reasons,’ he says. ‘It’s a moment, you know, it’s definitely a moment, but let’s not kid ourselves, it will be very hard for him to do the job. They’ll make it hard for him, as hard as they can. To tell the truth, I believed in the dream ticket to begin with. I thought that he could be the greatest Vice President ever. I think, in a way, he’d have more power as Vice President.’

Does he think, though, that Obama has a real chance of becoming the first black President? ‘That’s the really interesting question. How will white America respond when push comes to shove? Barack Obama may galvanise the black vote but there’s not enough of us. And McCain may well pick Condoleezza Rice as his running mate to split the black vote, too. One thing you can be sure of, whatever happens, the racial insecurity of America will be tested to the limit.’

Personally, I doubt that Ms Rice would attract many African American voters to McCain.

Unmasking McCain: His Reactionary Record on Reproductive Rights: here.

McCain and Hagee: here.

Rapper Immortal Technique interviewed: here.

3 thoughts on “Interview with rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy

  1. Pingback: Public Enemy´s Chuck D interview | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: United States musician Tom Morello interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Italian Leftist folk musicians Ned Ludd | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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