Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History


By Chuck D

Foreword by Shepard Fairey

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A one-of-a kind survey of rap and hip hop history from 1973 to today by Chuck D, arguably the most influential rapper in the world.

In the more than 40 years since the days of DJ Kool Herc and “Rapper’s Delight,” hip hop and rap have become a billion-dollar worldwide phenomenon. Yet there is no definitive history of the genre-until now.

Based on Chuck’s long-running show on, this massive compendium details the most iconic moments and influential songs in the genre’s recorded history, from Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin'” to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to Kendrick Lamar’s ground-breaking verse on “Control.” Also included are key events in hip hop history, from Grandmaster Flash’s first scratch through Tupac’s holographic appearance at Coachella.

Throughout, Chuck offers his insider’s perspective on the chart toppers and show stoppers as he lived it. Illustrating the pages are more than 100 portraits from the talented artists specializing in hip hop.



Shepard Fairey

Hip-hop is without a doubt the most influential and, at its greatest moments, the most creative musical and cultural movement of the last thirty-five years. Today the influence of hip-hop permeates virtually every form of pop music and fashion. At age eleven or twelve I didn't exactly see the future clearly, but hip-hop pushed its way into my life. It may seem strange now, but in the early '80s I didn't think hip-hop wanted me, a white middle-class kid from the South. Images of the South Bronx on fire and the media coverage of breakdancing and rapping made me feel hip-hop culture was off-limits to me as a cracker from the South with zero street cred. I loved Run-D.M.C. and the Sugarhill Gang, even though "Rapper's Delight" was the only song of theirs I knew. Eventually I noticed hip-hop's influence on groups like Blondie with their song "Rapture" and the Tom Tom Club with "Genius of Love." Ironically, it would be punk rock, the music culture that initially made me think I had to abandon all else, that later brought me back to hip-hop.

I started skateboarding in 1984 as an escape from team sports conformity. At that time, if you skateboarded it was compulsory to dive into punk and hardcore music. I quickly discovered bands like the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, the Clash, the Dead Kennedys, the Misfits, and Bad Brains. As a frustrated teen, I loved the punk bands because they all had energy and attitude, plus a lot of them had social and political things to say. The Clash and the Dead Kennedys especially demonstrated to me that musical virtuosity was less important than passion, style, and a message that connects with the disenfranchised underdog. I usually describe 1984–1986 as my "punk rock orthodoxy phase" where I refused to listen to anything else, though I did discover and love Bob Marley. Since Bad Brains played hardcore and reggae, I was open to Marley and loved his messages against oppression. A friend of mine had a New York City hardcore compilation tape called New York Thrash that had songs by Bad Brains and some fast low-fi songs by a band called the Beastie Boys. When the Beasties released Licensed to Ill I was intrigued, and it turned out to be the album that brought me back to hip-hop and helped me overcome my fear of being a cultural interloper. I loved Licensed to Ill, and I knew a lot of the Led Zeppelin and other classic rock samples, which inspired me to take an interest in how hip-hop songs are creatively constructed. The Beastie Boys were gigging with people like LL Cool J, and Run-D.M.C. had written "Slow and Low" for them, so they seemed credible and legit. The impact of the Beastie Boys juggernaut and their collision of punk rock and hip-hop, made me want to dig deeper into the hip-hop of that year, 1986.

Sometimes the right words in the right place at the right time achieve a lot, and no, I'm not talking about the driving premise of the art of rhyme, I'm talking about the Thrasher magazine review of the first Public Enemy album Yo! Bum Rush the Show. Thrasher magazine, which was the closest thing to a Bible in my life at the time, described Public Enemy's music as "the new punk rock." By '87, '88 I felt punk and hardcore had become a bit formulaic, and I was ready for some new raw power. I picked up Public Enemy's Yo! Bum Rush the Show and I was floored by the heaviness and defiant swagger of the music. Songs like "Public Enemy No. 1" and "Right Starter" have booming delivery and immediate but razor-sharp lyrics from Chuck D, the man who was soon to become a hero of mine. Yo! Bum Rush the Show was a powerful debut statement for Public Enemy, but it was only the warm-up for the sonic and lyrical firestorm of their follow-ups It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet. With It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Public Enemy rose to an artistic level not seen before in hip-hop and set a standard for musical, lyrical, and image genius that has rarely been achieved by any other artist. They dealt with politics and race in a supremely sophisticated yet visceral way, over a backdrop of densely collaged and diverse samples. The tension between melody and dissonance resides not only in the music, but Chuck's lyrics as well. His lyrics are the precise reason I took a deeper interest in black movements, the Black Panther Party, and leaders like Malcolm X. Chuck's ability to turn historical black figures into superheroes spoke to teenagers everywhere.

Fear of a Black Planet once again demonstrated the wizardry of Public Enemy's Bomb Squad production team, with intensely layered tracks like "Welcome to the Terrordome" and "Fight the Power," which was the anthem for Spike Lee's masterpiece Do the Right Thing, and has since become a protest anthem for the ages. Public Enemy proved it was possible to reach the bourgeoisie and rock the boulevard…to make you shake your rump and pump your fist. Those records showed Public Enemy to be one of the most outspoken forces in music, politics, and culture. The influence on their peers was evident as the golden age of hip-hop of the late '80s, mid '90s was filled with social commentary and gritty storytelling that some called "the CNN of the streets," and others "gangsta rap."

Public Enemy was not the only creative innovator in the golden age. The sampling laws had not yet been solidified in the late '80s, so there was a wealth of raw material for hip-hop acts and DJs to pull from. A few of the main corollaries I see between punk rock and hip-hop are their shared street roots, a defiance of the status quo, and an emphasis on attitude and creativity rather than musical virtuosity. Hip-hop was a new "do-it-yourself" movement that rewarded those who may not have had traditional music training but simply had a great ear and could remix, reinterpret, and transform samples from the vast musical universe, while also using drum machine beats and some live instruments. Musical and narrative progression in hip-hop seemed to be happening on a daily basis in the late '80s and landmark albums redefining possibilities within the genre were emerging from both New York and the West Coast. New York hip-hop was going off—Eric B. & Rakim dropping Paid in Full, Boogie Down Productions fronted by KRS-One put out Criminal Minded and By All Means Necessary, Slick Rick put out The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, LL Cool J crushed several styles with the release of Mama Said Knock You Out. From Long Island, De La Soul brought the sampling masterpiece 3 Feet High and Rising, which pushed the idea of what samples could be used to construct a hip-hop track into a more diverse territory. Fellow members of the Native Tongues collective A Tribe Called Quest released several lyrically witty and musically progressive classic albums during the golden age and later put out the amazing album We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service in late 2016, proving great artists only get better with time.

The West Coast also brought the fire in the late '80s and early '90s with artists like Ice-T and N.W.A pioneering gangsta rap. Ice-T's Rhyme Pays, Power, and O.G. Original Gangster all brought tales of street crime and hustling but with some cautionary warnings about the consequences of that lifestyle. N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton took confrontation and irreverence to new levels, but according to main lyricist Ice Cube, they were only reflecting the world of South Central they lived in. N.W.A may have been controversial with songs like "Fuck tha Police," but along with the antagonism, the members had talent and charisma to back up their attitudes. Cypress Hill brought a Latin flavor, weed culture, and bilingual rhymes into the mix. While East Coast hip-hop acts were sampling a lot of James Brown and a bit of Parliament-Funkadelic, West Coast acts were leaning heavily on P-Funk and a little on James Brown. The N.W.A-related artists like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and Snoop Dogg all sampled Parliament-Funkadelic, with Dr. Dre credited as pioneering the laid-back but sinister G-funk sound. I think it is safe to say that the samples used in great hip-hop songs led to a massive surge in interest in the funk and soul artists who were featured prominently. I know that hip-hop inspired me to pick up records by James Brown, the Meters, the Isley Brothers, Parliament-Funkadelic, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & the M.G.'s, and many others. In 1989 the Beastie Boys moved to LA to record the album Paul's Boutique with production team the Dust Brothers and Matt Dike. For me, Paul's Boutique is the pinnacle of the art of sampling with more than one hundred samples from across the musical spectrum on the album. Funk, soul, disco, glam rock, punk, reggae, and film scores are all sampled to make an eclectic but electrifying album.

In the early '90s, not long after masterpieces of sample collage such as Fear of a Black Planet, 3 Feet High and Rising, and Paul's Boutique came out, copyright infringement lawsuits over samples began to make artists and labels more hesitant to take risks associated with sampling without clearance. Sampling continued but using a large number of samples per song became financially prohibitive. Nevertheless, innovators rise above limitations, and a lot of great hip-hop emerged in the '90s. Nas released Illmatic, the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac put out several classic albums, Mos Def and Talib Kweli helped fuel the rise of Rawkus Records, and the Wu-Tang Clan brought the noise and their members seemed to put out new solo projects every few weeks. Missy Elliott and Jay Z became dominant hip-hop forces in the late '90s and well into the 2000s. During the same time frame a white Detroit MC named Eminem burst onto the scene with a unique verbal dexterity and the production help of Dr. Dre.

By the 2000s hip-hop proved itself to be a mainstream commercial success and an influence woven into every corner of the cultural fabric. On the one hand, I was happy the critics who said hip-hop "wasn't real music" or "was just a novelty fad" had been proven wrong, but I missed the outsider grit hip-hop had when it was still finding its footing. Early hip-hop had an aspirational charm to its bragging about money, cars, and girls, which seemed more like a defiant statement against a class system that said "people of color don't get the same access to luxuries." However, when hip-hop became more commercial, and luxury became a reality rather than an aspiration, the focus on status symbols began to dampen my enthusiasm for the genre.

One thing I've learned is that evolution can't be stopped. Hip-hop has evolved and mutated in so many different ways that it now has many subgenres. I still see ingenuity and possibility in hip-hop that reminds me why I felt it was the most vibrant and creative art form of music back when I first fell in love in the late '80s. There are amazing newer acts like Run the Jewels and Kendrick Lamar who carry on the tradition of social commentary in their music. Whether it is detractors who still see hip-hop as "not real music by no-talent hoodlums," or champions who see hip-hop as "a bottom-up revolution of empowerment that stretches from the streets to the elites," both opinions are entitled. A few groups have stood the test of time—Public Enemy, De La Soul, and Tribe Called Quest—and continue to put out great work while touring the world. In the end it is only the participants and innovators who can define what hip-hop means now and in the future. I'll be keeping my eyes, ears, and mind open for the next episode.


Even as the sound of music grips our daily lives in its power, and as the connection to the story of music seems to get obscured and pushed to the back; I remain a cheerleader for the arts—especially in the midst of the blizzard of sports. Think about it: in a sports-driven US society, the facts and the figures—not to mention the games behind the game—take up gigantic amounts of space in our lives. This is also reflected internationally, where big biz sports is revered equally as much as the culture.

In this so-called progressive era, the duty of knowing information about modern culture has regressed in my opinion. Once upon a time, the fanatics who loved a particular recording would probably also know all the facts and information about it as well. This applied to every genre and crossed over genres habitually as listeners "discovered" music beyond their typical liking. The "dig" for content led to the "digging" of more of it, so to speak. The radio DJs of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s had a lot to do with forming this fan-based research, and thus helped create, and then quench, this thirst. Knowing that Jeff Skunk Baxter played with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers was key to any 1970s "rock head," just as a basketball fan would know the steal assist stats of New York Knicks Hall of Famer, Walt Clyde Frazier.

In rap music and hip-hop, the first 15–20 years started off like that. Once again, tip this habit to the DJs who carried, transported, and played (long before Serato) thick record crates full of wax. They had to know thoroughly the labels, the producers, and studios who had that particular "sound" that made best beat-digging possible—first for in-house playing and then for sample uses in their own record productions.

By the late 1980s/early 1990s the emergence of the rap and hip-hop journalists and documentarians helped form the importance of the fact alongside the written opinion. Magazines like The Source, Rap Sheet, RAPpages, and others put the fact to the words while filtering and processing the myths from the real. The thirst was always there but the info falloff was dramatic at the turn of the twenty-first century. Mergers, particularly in the technology region's programming sector, sold itself out and got paranoid. Black radio DJ rap shows—including the Awesome Two, Mr. Magic, Lady B, Greg MACK, Pinkhouse & Ramone Ski, Chicago Chuck Chill Out, Red Alert, and Tim Westwood in London with a slew of international shows; as well as the college Hip-Hop Jocks Wildman Steve, BARRY Benson, Mr. Bill Stephney, and later on 1990s shows like "Stretch & Bobbito" to name a few—all had dialogue about the records and artists they played. This fed the audience alongside the mags, which then started to have even multi-regional readers writing debates on the art form and genre.

Once brought into US law, the 1996 Clinton Powell Telecommunications Act allowed corporations to soak up and buy out individual independent regional radio stations. That was a nail struck deep into the hip-hop coffin of startups and Indies. "Indie" meaning Independent radio shows, promoters, record labels, and regional goods and services that could humbly build some rap real estate on the airwaves. The second blast was the World Wide Web, which many claimed as the death knell for record companies as we knew it. I agree yet disagree with that theory because it all ain't that simple. The turn of the century signaled a redirection of what business heads called "content." Technology took it all in and started reconfiguring it all as metadata. It was still a step up from the late 1990s CD, which reduced titles and musicians to "track whatever by what's its name." Mixtapes made their mark in hip-hop as identifiers with over-the-top, CD-sized cover art.

With gadgets galore, and especially during these past Obama years, the thirst for the stone-cold facts behind the music folks love is now evident in social media. Everyone has an opinion, voiced through the power of their text. That also means mass amounts of misinformation, in this so-called communication era, is prevalent. This is exactly what made me follow up the idea of This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History, first as a radio show idea in 2009.

Backtracking to that year, after being approached by Andrea Clarke of the legendary WBAI 99.5 progressive radio station in New York City, I contemplated doing a different kind of rap show broadcast. I had just finished up a four-year stint with Air America Network 2004–2008 doing a talk interview show with Gia'na Garel. Andrea had been approaching me since 2007 about doing a hip-hop show. I couldn't see how. Most hip-hop shows were stuck in the same rut format of endless mixes, and slapping the audience with records containing little or no spoken communication. This pattern across an hour (much less two), deterred and bored the avid fans and kept the non-fans out. Rap and hip-hop, regardless of its financial-WSJ hype, was killing itself in the diminishing returns of non-curation.

A light bulb hit me when I watched Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports on HBO. I saw that he moderated a show about putting a show together, along with a group of contributors. It was really the 60 Minutes concept, I later found out. This gave me the idea of what kind of radio show to put on WBAI, one that would make sense over a two-hour period. I came up with and wrote out a recruitment plan to attract skilled hip-hop radio heads in key positions, to contribute segment blocks. WildMan Steve Adams was a standout legend who continued the hip-hop legacy on 90.3 WBAU, post Mr. Bill Stephney and André, Doctor Dré Brown. Steve had continued into the 1990s ushering in many artists and doing various voice-overs for record projects. "Songs in the Right Direction" was a perfect fit after my "Songs That Mean Something" block. Mikko Kapanen and Amkelwa Mbekeni delivered eloquently "Planet Earth Planet Rap," the only show in the hip-hop world that played the music and acts of hip-hop across the world. There was an opening for some mixes by various DJs—something Public Enemy Hall of Fame founding member DJ Terminator X does with his partner DJ DVS today. Tim Einenkel came over from Air America to supply songs, scripts, and a great interview segment called "The Library." Raven The Blazin Eurasian I met at a Club Classic event and since then she has dutifully projected women's contributions in hip-hop in a segment called "Hip-Hop Queenz."

From there I knew a chief editor would be necessary, as I would do an intro/outro as well as my "Songs That Mean Something" segment. Veteran DJ Johnny Juice was that guy to seamlessly do a few segments himself, measuring the blocks to do 1:55 minutes of blast casting, with all segments emailed in to him in MP3 form. Which leads into the segment that spurred this book, This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History: I'd known Duke Eatmon and Ron Maskell for about a decade at that time, having met them before that in concerts. Diligent to the T as documentarians and hip-hop DJs from Montreal Canada (or Mount Real as we say) just an international car drive north from New York City. They were the most astute in explaining, and hence breaking down, the Public Enemy discography of words, reason, and music. With the details of every song, every member, and the track's meaning and purpose, all broken down into documentary radio broadcasts, again the common theme here being they evolved from the Rap Radio realm. Their "This Is Not A Test" and Soul Experience Shows on Podamatic and Canadian station 101.9 FM CHAI offer amazing, never-to-be-forgotten CLASSICK Material.

With their outstanding dedication to this specific research, I proposed they could approach "This Week in Hip-Hop and Rap" as a segment on the "AndYouDontStop!" show. We had also launched the radio at the same time, in 2010, that we would program. We proposed how they could approach "This Day in Hip-Hop and Rap" as a daily segment. They would research, write, record, and upload. The plans early on were a calendar, book, and application. Although there are a few books out there that deal with these "This Day" themes in music, this is the first that attempts to enter as a chronological read.

So, in full-circle recognition, this book would not be possible without that Mount Everest–level dedication of Duke and Ron. Adding in the extra notes of Baird "Flatline" Warnick, putting his endless fact work into RAPstation and HipHopGods. Along with Gia'na Garel, who has been so diligent in working to make this street work edited and presentable outside its stereotypical bag. And my former assistant, Kate Gammell, for getting the ball rolling on this, as well as manager Lorrie Boula for getting it going. Along with those at BTNE Garlyn and Gary G Wiz for the other technology that this book will thrive on.

The time is NOW regarding the official start time for this project, as a book, to enter hip-hop's 44th year and rap recorded music and song's 38th season. The facts, trivia, events, quotes, and notes make this book a mandatory must-have to dispel the myths about the most powerful genres the recent world has known.

Chuck D




DJ Kool Herc invents hip-hop at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue.

Clive Campbell, aka DJ Kool Herc, hosted a party in the rec room of his apartment building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx. The party, billed as a "Back to School Jam" for Kool Herc's little sister, is seen by many as the precise birthplace of hip-hop.

The party was the first time an audience heard the results of Kool Herc's turntable experimentation, in which the up-and-coming DJ pioneered a technique of isolating the rhythm sections from '60s and '70s records, known as "the break," and looping them on repeat or together to create something new.

During Kool Herc's set, his friend Coke La Rock spontaneously grabbed a microphone and began calling out his friends' names and rapping improvised lyrics over the DJ's breakbeat.


Ex-gang member Afrika Bambaataa forms the Universal Zulu Nation in the Bronx, New York.

Inspired by DJ Kool Herc and Kool DJ Dee, Bambaataa wanted to form an organization that would inspire gang members and disenfranchised youth all over the world to utilize creative forces as a means to turn their lives around. Bambaataa used hip-hop culture as the vehicle to realize that goal.

By the 1980s, the Universal Zulu Nation had branches in the UK, Japan, France, Australia, and South Korea.



New York City blackout provides a generation of New York DJs with equipment.

The New York City blackout of 1977 resulted in widespread looting and arson in many of the poorest neighborhoods throughout the city.

Pioneering hip-hop artists like DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Caz have both attributed the rise of an entire generation of hip-hop DJs to mass looting of equipment like mixers, turntables, and speakers that took place throughout Brooklyn and the Bronx on the night of July 13.



Robert Ford's Billboard article tells the world about the rush for "B-beats" in NYC record stores.

Ford's story, titled, "B-Beats Bombarding Bronx" was one of the earliest mentions of the emerging musical genre in national media.

The article includes quotes from DJ Kool Herc, and describes the trend of DJs sifting through record bins at stores throughout New York looking for specific albums to sample.

"The requests, for the most part," Ford writes, "come from young black disco DJ's from the Bronx who are buying the records just to play the 30 seconds or so or rhythm breaks that each disk contains."


Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 4 MC's perform a now-historic show at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York.

The crew at that point consisted of Flash, Melle Mel, the Kidd Creole, Cowboy, and Scorpio. A year later, Rahiem of the Funky 4 + 1 would join and they would become known as Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five.



Robert Ford writes a Billboard article titled "Jive Talking N.Y. DJs Rapping Away in Black Discos."

Chronicling the rising trend of "attracting followings with their slick raps," it is the first story appearing in a mainstream publication to discuss the growing phenomena of rapping.

Pioneering DJs and rappers Eddie Cheeba, DJ Hollywood, and Kurtis Blow are all mentioned in the story.


The Sugarhill Gang releases their classic and groundbreaking hit, "Rapper's Delight," on Sugar Hill.

Sugar Hill Records owner Sylvia Robinson was looking for rappers near their New Jersey recording studio. Her son came across Henry "Big Bank Hank" Jackson who was flipping pizzas at a local shop. Hank was managing the legendary Grandmaster Caz, who later claimed Hank borrowed his notebook filled with rhymes for the song. The lyrics back up Caz's claim of theft, as his original rapping name, Casanova Fly, is even spelled out by Hank on the classic track.

The balance of the Sugarhill Gang was Jersey's Michael "Wonder Mike" Wright and Guy "Master Gee" O'Brien.

The song begins with an interpolation of "Here Comes That Sound Again" by Love De-Luxe, and is followed by the bass line and main groove of Chic's hit single "Good Times," both released on Atlantic that same year. The interpolations were played by the funk band Positive Force.

Chic members threatened to sue until they were added to the credits as co-songwriters and received compensation.

The fifteen-minute, ten-verse song has sold more than two million copies and is credited with bringing rap music on the mainstream. On January 5, 1980, it was the first hip-hop record to enter Billboard's Hot 100 chart, reaching #36.


Kurtis Blow releases "Christmas Rappin'" on Mercury.


  • "If you want to understand our culture. To learn knowledge itself. Truth about the art form of poetry in motion. The struggle of our community through rhyme and rhythm. This is the book that inspired me long before I found my place in hip-hop. The power of self-expression. Unapologetically. Taught by the teacher himself. Chuck D!!!!"—Kendrick Lamar
  • "This book is required reading for those who claim to know hip-hop, love hip-hop, and want their information from a true Master and General of the hip-hop culture...Public Enemy #1, Chuck D!"—Ice-T
  • "Chuck D wasn't put here to play any games. He created the greatest hip-hop album in my opinion to date, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. But the very first minute he sonically appeared to us, I knew rap was changed forever. Power, awareness, strength, and militancy is his stance in a world obsessed with punishing poor people. I knew he would righteously and boldly die so that a little young boy he didn't even know from Queensbridge could live. He attacked wickedness head-on being the rappin' rhino terror that he is. He represented for all of us putting his life on the line and making the right music fighting for hip hop, the youth, truth, and justice. Chuck D made the lane for people like me to walk."—Nas
  • "Reading this book is like reliving my life all over again. Chuck D is Dope!!!"—LL Cool J
  • "This Day In Rap and Hip-Hop History, with a forward and amazing illustrations by Shepard Fairy, paints a picture of a restless art form that has been constantly evolving and has come to dominate the cultural landscape."—Esquire
  • "The immense scope of Chuck D's influence on hip-hop is as unwavering as it is undeniable."—Vibe
  • "From DJ Kool Herc's early experiments in turntablism to the meteoric rise of Kendrick Lamar and the glorious success of historic hip-hop musical Hamilton, it breaks 40 years of a uniquely American art form down into easily digestible pieces of comprehensive chronology."—GeekDad
  • "Even the most knowledgeable music lover in your squad could use this book in their collection."—Complex
  • "Unmatched legend of hip-hop culture, Public Enemy's Chuck D is on a mission to set all records straight regarding the chronological history of rap and hip-hop culture. So, forget about all of those Instagram and Tumblr pages floating around in the name of "today in hip-hop history" that is being run by 18-year old hip-hop heads and allow a living legend who walks, talks, and breathes this culture, tell it."—The Source

On Sale
Oct 10, 2017
Page Count
352 pages

Chuck D

About the Author

Chuck D is considered one of the most influential lyricists in contemporary music. Both as a solo artist and as the leader of the ground-breaking hip hop group Public Enemy (which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013), he helped pave the way for political, social, and culturally conscious hip hop. Public Enemy’s albums remain among the most critically acclaimed works in the genre, including It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet.

A visionary in digital entertainment, Chuck D helped lead the filesharing movement, launched one of the first online entertainment websites,, and digital-only record labels, the SpitSlam Record Label Group and Public Enemy were the second act to ever release an album in MP3 format. He is on the road three weeks out of each month touring with Public Enemy and his supergroup Prophets of Rage or speaking at tech and music conferences and colleges, and splits his days off between Long Island, Atlanta, and Southern California.

Foreword by Shepard Fairey, an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, illustrator and founder of OBEY Clothing who emerged from the skateboarding scene.

Learn more about this author