Public Enemy has always had a soft spot in my heart. They were one of, if not THE first hip hop groups to make their presence known on a poAll Tableslitical landscape, and did so with intense rhythms and harsh lyrics (harsh in the right way, of course). The group that featured Chuck D and Flavor Flav was Radio Rahim’s personal soundtrack.
Protestors had used the phrase “Fight the Power” for decades for a myriad of causes, but it wasn’t until Public Enemy hit the scene that people were able to put it to music, while maintaining its authenticity.
While Flavor Flav has always kept himself in the public scope, it was mainly Chuck D that kept the group’s lyrical consciousness alive. This happened again last night on the Twittersphere, when he made his thoughts known on both Summer Jam music festival, and Hot 97, the radio station that runs it.
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) June 2, 2014
One might say, “But Chuck, didn’t YOU play at Summer Jam a few years ago?” Don’t worry, he remembers.
I played SummerJam09 & immediately was turned off by the host who said’Here go the ngAS that brought the revolution to rap’,i was like smdh. — Chuck D (@MrChuckD) June 3, 2014
He went on defend the music festival’s host Funkmaster Flex, as well as Hot 97’s Paul Rosenberg, but clearly has some issues with the direction radio is taking hip hop. It’s fair too, especially when you look at the Summer Jam lineup.
It features some solid acts in Nas, 50 Cent, The Roots and Childish Gambino, but within that group, they managed to throw in Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj in there as well.
To me, there’s nothing wrong with liking Trey Songz or Nicki Minaj, but to someone like Chuck D, who helped build the genre and architect its roots, it’s fair to understand his position.