POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Chuck D and his group Public Enemy helped redefine rap music and Hip Hop culture with the release of their explosive 1987 debut album, Yo Bum Rush The Show, delivering powerful messages about race, rage, and inequality to a vast audience. His talk “Rap, Race, Reality” will expand on these issues, on Tuesday, November 6, at 12:30pm, in the Villard Room of the College Center. This event is free and open to the public.
Two decades later, after producing nine more albums, and three multi-platinum records, Public Enemy remains one of the most critically acclaimed and highly influential groups in the music industry, and Chuck D is frequently compared to such musical trailblazers as Bono, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley. He has collaborated outside his genre with Isaac Hayes, John Mellencamp, and U2, among others, and has recorded soundtracks for a number of Spike Lee films.
Public Enemy’s critical and commercial successes have also opened the doors for Chuck D to deliver his message through a number of other mediums. He has hosted his own segment on the Fox News Channel and published a best-selling autobiography, Fight The Power. He has served as a national spokesperson for Rock The Vote, the National Urban League, and the National Alliance of African American Athletes, appeared in public service announcements for HBO’s campaign for national peace and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, is a regular guest on such television programs as Nightline and Politically Incorrect.
Born Carlton Ridenhouer in Roosevelt, NY, Chuck D formed Public Enemy in 1982. More recently, he has become a major proponent of, and spokesperson for, the sharing of music on the Internet. In September 1999, he launched Rapstation.com. The site boasts a TV and radio station with original programming, a slew of Hip Hop’s most prominent DJs, celebrity interviews, free MP3 downloads, social commentary, current events, and regular features dedicated to empowering rap artists with the knowledge to turn their craft into a viable living.
In 2001, Chuck created an online, offline, and midline artist distribution channel through record label SLAMjamz. He went on to launch the Internet radio station Bringthenoise.com, through which Public Enemy became the first multi-platinum-selling act to release an album via the Web, before it was available in retail stores.
For setting new standards and challenging traditional methods of retail distribution, Chuck D has been sought as a guest contributor to Time, and a guest editor of Red Herring magazine. His outspoken advocacy of the Web has been profiled in Forbes, Time, and USA Today, and earned him a place in Upside magazine’s “Elite 100” list of Internet leaders, alongside the likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at this event should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.