Public Enemy’s Chuck D on the Audible line ‘Songs that Shaken the Planet’

EASY Chuck has been shouting “Fight the Power” for over 30 years. As Common enemyThe de facto leader, rapper/orator has witnessed hip-hop in all its stages and iterations since his early teenage years.

Along the way, he’s grown into a living encyclopedia of music and sports. Calling himself an “old hippie,” Chuck’s love affair with Led Zeppelin, Seals & Crofts and the Rolling Stones makes the 61-year-old very much a kid from the ’60s.

That background – not to mention his explosive, commanding voice – is probably the reason why Audible Originals chose the Long Island native for the upcoming “Words + Music” series, “Songs That Shook the Planet,” premieres today (February 3). Executive-produced in conjunction with Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett, the film aims to expose listeners to the indelible music of the songs by vocal artists while providing soundtracks about Civil revolt still reverberates decades later.

Selections include naturalist works such as Marvin Gaye’s 1971 nature work “What’s Going On,” Curtis Mayfield’s “Everybody Get Ready,” and the 1939 classic “Exotic Fruit” by Curtis Mayfield. Billie Holiday, but Chuck says his vast knowledge of music from many genres and eras really makes the list more than daunting.

“If you live long, you have a long list,” he told Variety. “I always try to avoid the obvious and dig a little deeper to find something different, which people might hear less of than the usual suspects. At 61, even if I say something that’s normal to me, it could be completely different for someone 40 or younger – and it could well be something to be explored. ”

“What’s Going On” is the most obvious track to put on the list, he said, noting that the song was released at a pivotal moment in history.

It was recorded in 1970, following one of the most turbulent periods of change of our time, and emerges in 71, three years after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, Chuck said. . “And also from Motown [Records], changed and revolutionized young America culturally. “

As usual, “Songs That Shook the Planet” is hardly the only project to emerge from Chuck D’s office. Earlier this month, PBS announced that he would be starring in the upcoming docuseries, “The Story of Hip-Hop with Chuck D (w/t). Produced by the BBC and developed by Chuck and longtime manager Lorrie Boula, this four-part series traces the story of hip-hop culture beginning with its 1973 birth in the Bronx.

“The hip-hop community has, from the very beginning, done what the rest of the media is just now catching up on,” Chuck said in a statement about the show. “Long before any corporation realized it was time to wake up, hip-hop spoke up and told the truth. The partnership with PBS and BBC is an opportunity to convey these messages through new ways and help explain hip-hop’s place in history and hopefully inspire us all to take it on. further. “

As Chuck looks ahead to the next chapter, his focus will revolve around his blossoming artistic career, building the RAPstation network and releasing music through Public Enemy’s recently signed deal with Public Enemy. its original producer, Def Jam (though without his former counterpart Taste Taste – at least for the time being).

“I will solidify RAPstation in RSTV as an incredible service,” he said. “I think all the pieces are there. It just needs a little bit of visual tightening in our app. Then I have the SpitSlam record company with C-Doc, and Enemy Books which we’ll open with great writing and great illustrations.

“Anyway, my artistic career is something that I want to mark as my most important thing for the next 15 years. I’m trying to start another field of hip-hop gigs, and that’s rocking museums and galleries. That’s probably what I’m going to name my next album, ‘Chuck D and the Near Def Experience’, which will give me the ability to play rock music, a lecture and walls with artwork in the same night. That’s what Chuck D and the Near Def Experience is all about. ” Public Enemy’s Chuck D on the Audible line ‘Songs that Shaken the Planet’

Olly Dawes

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