Today August 1 is the birthday of Chuck D aka Mistachuck, lead rapper of the seminal Hip Hop group Public Enemy.. Earlier this year the group was inducted into the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame which was a well deserved honor..But we should all note within Public Enemy is an array of musicians and producers who are capable of holding their own in a variety of fields.. from the Bomb Squad to Professor Griff to Flavor Flav..
As we celebrate Chuck D’s birthday we wanted to go beyond his immense body of work as a member of public Enemy and look at some of his solo and spin-off projects.. So today’s 3 Dope songs is dedicated to Chuck D and some of his recent and rare songs y’all should know..
First we wanna look at a recent song Chuck D did with long time friend and musical collaborator Kyle Jason who is an incredible musician and fellow PE member Professor Griff.. The song below is off a new compilation album called ‘Don’t Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin’
Mistachuck I Hate featuring Kyle Jason and Professor Griff
This is another solo project done under the name Mistachuck produced by long time PE member Johnny Juice.. It’s dedicated to those fighting to tear down walls of separation especially along our borders.. Always forward thinking, Chuck had done this song months before Arizona passed its Draconian anti-immigrant SB 1070 law.. The version below is a remix and video that acknowledges the challenges in Arizona while addressing the border challenges everywhere..
Mistachuck Tear Down That Wall
Looking back into time.. we recall that Chuck D was part of a rock rap featuring Professor Griff and Kyle Jason group called Confrontation Camp?
They did an album called Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear which included a gut wrenching song called Jasper which paid tribute to James Byrd, a Black man dragged to his death in the back of a truck by a group of white racists. This happened June 7th 1998…
Another group that Chuck D started was a 5 man group called Fine Arts Militia which featured stellar musicians Brian Hardgroove of Bootsy Collin fame, Wes Little (drums), Victor J. Burks (keyboards), and Brad Craig (guitar).
The group essentially rocked funky music behind Chuck D doing a hybrid of spoken word and rap, with the subject matter being a series of lectures he had done around the topics of Race, Rap and Technology. This was ground breaking in the sense that Chuck was new deep in the emerging dotcom era and spending a lot of time on the west coast around Silicon Valley..
He and his team were doing some innovative stuff at the time ranging from being one of the first to record a full album completely on line to setting up digital label (Slam Jamz) and establishing a supersite called Rapstation.com which early on was doing internet radio.. Their debut album, We Are Gathered Here, appeared on Koch in spring 2003 was a sound track for that time period.
Fine Arts Militia Digging Digital Ditches
This is an anti war song Fine Arts Militia did as they paid tribute to blues legend Johnnie Lee Hooker at radio City Music Hall
We couldn’t leave out without tossing a couple of cuts from Chuck D’s first solo album The Autobiography of Mistachuck..
Chuck D‘s Call Me Mistachuck
Chuck D ‘Pride’