Chuck D: Again And Again

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The master of framing the moment within a gut-felt emotion is back, providing clarity beyond the crystal clear. Take a listen to Chuck’s response to the natural and federal disaster of Katrina, the Children of Eris remix, “Hell No We Ain’t All Right

Chuck D‘s rhymes flow so natural and powerful they take form within your psyche while you latch onto his beat. That’s because Chuck doesn’t twist to the beat of a loop; Chuck’s direct, unflinching words twist a beat of their own.

Can’t you feel him in this latest drop?

I follow his words, like “the new world is upside down and out of order” as a flip from the past, as back then he was taken aghast, as the polar opposites were set-up, the Axis of Evil corrupt…

Man…

I often wonder if the 17 to 23 year-old crowd nowadays gets the same dose of reality in the Hip hop nation.

Sure, the crew of Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def and The Roots bring consciousness to each of their narratives on multiple levels. Underground hip-hop, like Head-Roc, sticks to the grimy reality, and J-Live lives and keeps it real as a teacher in Brooklyn, but where is the channeled anger of this generation?

Maybe he/she/they are out there and the gray in my chin is talking all of this junk—if so, feel free to let me know. To the extent that Chuck D and Public Enemy pumped out perspective and knowledge in the late 80’s to the mid-90’s (along with KRS-One and Brand Nubian), I just don’t hear the same form of consistent passion in these modern day cats.

Yes, Mos Def was crazy conscious with his tabulations in Mathematics, and has kept ’em coming leading right up to the in-the-moment response and drop of Katrina Klap. Artists such as Kanye West have proven to have a conscious, yet even Kanye still goes back and forth with club songs chock full of faux diamond dissing, gold-digging lyrics.

Chuck D earned the lead Public Enemy #1 tag with his straight up, hardcore responses to social issues of the time; I’m talking about consistent responses to real-time events, like:

  • dropping “By the Time I Get To Arizona” when Arizona refused to honor Martin Luther King’s birthday
  • or when Chuck tried to shut down the malt-liquor industry in “1 Million Bottlebags” for targeting young black males with their poison
  • even in their twilight, in 2002 Public Enemy dropped “Son of a Bush” at a time when political commentary in hip-hop was ripe for the picking, but rare due to the climate of blind patriotism. Only Eminem made any Bush accountability waves, but he waited until a safer year of 2004 to drop his Mosh video, pre and post 2004 elections.

Enough. Like that dude on Enter the 36 Chambers said, “Ah yeah, again and again!”

Bring the noise, Chuck.