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Chuck D Talks New Series and the Powerful Influence of Rap



Chuck D
Chuck D. Image Source: Youtube

Today Chuck D sat down with Rolling Stone for a deep conversation on the new series Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World. Why such a project? In the words of the trailblazer,

“Hip-hop and rap music are as connecting as our blood.”

And there is no time like the present to offer insight into hip-hop, the art form with so great a reach.

January 31 will mark the premiere of a new hip-hop series on BBC created by Chuck D. Himself. Fight the Power: How Hip Change the World was created as a four-part series on how rap ties the “historical timeline of a people.” It places rap under the spotlight and explores the battle waged in the trenches by artists engaged in social and political struggles. And Chuck taunts it as an extension of “The Art of Rap,” an Ice-T project produced 11 years ago.


Chuck D: The Exemplar

Chuck-D bears the markings of his time spent in the trenches as a founder of Public Enemy, attempting to spread a message. Chuck got his start in the industry at 27, and he attributes his age to his level of awareness and how he crafted his message. As Chuck told Rolling Stone,

“I wasn’t a kid, and I wasn’t speaking to kids.”

However, that didn’t debunk the universality of the message. He went on to negate the argument that rap music is explicitly about kids. Instead, the artist says,

“It’s music for the past, present, and future.”

The Message

This series is a message for the masses. And it’s not relegated to any particular selection of songs but to the art crafted by artists for the culture. This is no superficial series. In the interview, He further expounds on the profundity of the documentary. While the series is undoubtedly about the history, it’s also a nod to scholarship. It is an attempt at reframing the narrative and reversing the movement away from, as he phrases, “anti-intellectualism” or the “dumbing down” of culture.

Chuck D on What He Believes is Impactful

When asked what he thought were the most impactful hip-hop songs in history, he listed The Message and Fight the Power.


However, he was adamant. There were many more equally powerful selections put forth by artists, who do not often gain mention, an example, The Crown by Gary Bird and Stevie Wonder.


Nevertheless, they impacted the world in immeasurable ways with their art. He went on to reach outside the hip-hop genre to mention other impactful artists who faced the same struggles, such as Nina Simone and Gil Scott Heron.

Why BBC?

Some may wonder why BBC. So, what led Chuck D to choose this as a platform? For him, the answer was simple. It was because of Hip Hop and Rap’s global reach. He says,

“I’ve been to 116 countries, and hip-hop is more about the world than one little place….”

Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World (Other Details)

Chuck D will appear in the series alongside some of the greatest hip-hop, rap, and culture contributors. Of mention are icons Melle Mel and Eminem. But that’s merely the start. Additionally, the conversation will extend to academics, journalists, and executives.


Fight The Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World is a series not to be missed. It is a nod to the culture, the creatives, and all those that embrace the art form and rest under the shadow of its influence.


This series is poised to be a treasured resource on everything Hip-hop has stood for and continues to stand on. That deserves support.

Written by: Renae Richardson

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