Chuck D

I'm old enough to tell you how it was and still kind of here to tell you how it's going to be.

Public Enemy is one of the most iconic groups in Hip Hop. A group with a true voice and purpose. That voice, more often than not, was Chuck D - the group's frontman. A true icon, his booming raps became a soundtrack for resistance.

"My name is Chuck D, from the group Public Enemy. Planet Earth is where I'm at. I'm an Earthizen, so I'm not really a Government Citizen of any type. Yeah I have a US passport. They play games with that too. 'We'll take your passport away!' you know...

"Human beings have a difficulty visiting Earth. [laughs]"

Chuck D's motivation comes from his upbringing, during a time where the cultural landscape was very different. His social and political consciousness is a product of this.

"I was born in 1960 and everything was at a cross roads. The first 10 years of my life was actually somebody who had Negro on a birth certificate, and by the time I was 9 and 10, everything was black. A lot of the reasons were cultural, and the culture followed the movement of people fighting for equal rights, not more rights. Equal rights.

"I had parents that were able to interpret the surrounding world for me, which was good. Culture was always in the house and music was always in the house. Culture and music can actually answer the questions that society couldn't answer itself."

Pioneers in the digital world, Public Enemy had the very first full length album to be available online. Technology has opened a world with no borders. A world where artists can connect directly with their fans and share their work.

"I didn't come into the music recording industry because I wanted to actually get a record deal. I was repeatedly requested by Rick Rubin to actually become part of the Def Jam fold in its very beginning.

"I actually tried to be a behind the scenes person because I was very much into the belief of knowing that we can build some structures that were right. We came in and I said, 'look if I'm going to actually be a recording artist, it's going to be this way, there ain't gonna be no other way.'

"The whole key is with technology is to be on top of it but still, you know, be grounded in the reasons why you're doing it in the first place.

"So when we actually got involved in digital, we saw that a lot of areas that were analog in our contracts that were attached to them. Not only did not work, it didn't even work for them, and it was totally robbing us.

"So we said 'Yo man, we gotta hit people directly man', cause people are online, there's email etc. Somebody, you know, is over there in the Netherlands they just saw your show, or they were asking when you could come back. I want to be able to not have my art shut down from ineptitude."

As an MC, Chuck D is more of a culturally important artist to DJs. He is someone with completely honest creative intent and it comes from an educated mind. His voice is instantly recognizable and his words have resonated with a generation. Being a large part of the Hip Hop story, he's an important role model and icon for everyone.

"The first time I ever saw a DJ was in 1976. This guy that was behind this 'thing' with a light in his face playing my favorite song, but it kept going on and on.

"So that record had to be about this big man, I was like, 'what is he doing?' [laughs] and he would go from one side to the one side and the one side, then he would talk on top of the instrumental and I was like 'how big is this record?' and I could not conceive what a DJ was until I walked up there and I said 'ok, he's got two turntables, I understand what a turntable does, cause he's playing this record, so when that records over he would play that record', nah he had two of the same records.

"I'm old enough to tell you how it was and still kind of here to tell you how it's going to be. People are like, 'Chuck, you don't smoke, you don't drink, you never did, why?'

"I said, 'I don't smoke anything, I just smoke stages.'

"Creators don't necessarily need to be entertained by anybody else. The DJ is the perfect example of that. They create, they entertain - it comes from within.

"Hip Hop is really 'Yo, be yourself, deliver from your inside.' That's the whole basis of Public Enemy and the culture that we come out of.

"You do it because it answers to you. I believe that music and culture brings us together as human beings. That's our similarity, as human beings, and knocks our stupid ass differences to the side."

Chuck D

Be sure to look out for a special Public Enemy x Serato Pressing Picture Disc that will be released later this month.