An Interview w/ Chuck D pt 4
by Davey D 9/5/02
Chuck D on Media and Mind Control
DAVEY D-You were just touching upon the transmission of information. How that is a factor in the game right now. So maybe you can continue on that vein.
CHUCK D- I am not trying to come off as bitter b/c it has nothing to do w/ being bitter. Itís about being clear & concise about the exact & absolute problems that we have in our communication. As a community we donít have any control over our communication. What it basically boils down to is Black people as a community is served into two areas-TV and radio. It is B.E.T. which is controlled by Viacom & a handful of radio stations that are no longer independently owned. So you can have something concocted in a board room from a company & delivered to two of these gigantic industries and it could take on a whole new realm of community soul. What difference is that from what George Orwell said in ď1984Ē when he talked about Big Brother? To have these discussions about these stronger, I mean these higher beings w/ higher controls, the more & more the people get simplifed ,dumbed down & not even being aware of these things. It is almost like alien speak to bring it up & have it be an impact on our day to day lives. These impacts are greatly felt in the US, most especially on Black people who live in communities that donít get this information from anywhere else but these middle men.
DAVEY D- Hmmmm
CHUCK D-Like I said this is a high discussion that very few people can understand & it has nothing to do w/ conspiracy theories and itís not really rocket science. It is just the way that it is. If you got somebody that controls the information therefore they can manipulate & sway the people anyway they want them to. Whether they want to sell them a pair a pants or a shirt, or music, or a way of life and culture. The culture has been bought, sold, & packaged & delivered. As a people we arenít even at the packaging table. These determinations are made elsewhere. Somebody actually speaks about these controlled forces. It is real frustrating to look at that as bitterness as opposed to just being the real deal. Mind control & propaganda are tools of manipulation of the masses going way back since the Roman days. Using higher forms of media such as radio & picture images is definatly a tool for exploitation & manipulation during the 1900s or 20th century. Look at the past, Hitler- Nazism, subliminal seduction and all that itís nothing new. Manipulating people by a governed rule and the governed law as annointed by God and the Gods (laughing) & you can actually propagandize or flip people to think that this is THE way as opposed to any other way.
DAVEY D-There is also something that comes up in this pattern and maybe you can speak to that b/c it might be connected to Cointelpro... What happened to people like Bob Marley one of the things that it seems like is that there are a handful of gate keepers & whenever you start to have this conversation those people that have direct interest in the continuation of this type of system are usually the ones that they let out to either try to discredit you or to silence or shut you down. For example, hearing you say this there would be two types of reactions, people would be like man, that is true, and then you got on the other hand;
ďOh man,Chuck is just bitter.Ē...
until you find out they are connected to the radio station or to these media outlets & itís kind of like their job to just to keep their position in line.
CHUCK D- To the naysayers, when you lay out the facts in front of them & then they say 'thatís the way business is in America, baby, so you gotta roll with it'. I say then, what difference is that then with slavery? So then you are gonna say that because slavery is a business then it is legitimate? It is just a whole different type of slavery today. Just b/c there is paycheck that is being given to Black people, a 6 or 7 figure salaries to Black faces to a select few of them mean that itís legitimate so that you have to claw for survival, for information? You mean that you are thrown a bone, a bisciut in the form of a platinum chain , some rims & maybe a house out in Concord [California]... Ya know what? You guys have made it, you have achieved the American dream?[Chuck says sarcastically]
CHUCK D-This is a bigger picture for the masses of people to exist as human beings on the planet. Itís just not Black people living all alone in America, b/c first of all, we donít live for ourselves, we live for 2 or 3 generations afterwards & it takes more than possession of material items or things that actually make your generation go further. The more we look at it ,it has nothing to do w/ business. The more I look at education, I just say that we are in a situation now that the Black community where average Black kid has 14 grades. Really. The extra two grades that a most Black males gets is the streets & jail anyway at 18, 19. If they donít go to the service, if they donít get a job, if they donít go to college, the streets or jail are there waiting for them, like itís a extra two grades.
So the fight is something for certain things you have to be aware that should be common knowledge. Common sense which isnít common knowledge anymore itís nonsense. I donít want to get into the thing where someone is listening to the radio and they say ďMan, thatís deep and then they tell me how deep it is so they can have 362 days of nonsense and then they have like 1 day of me enlightening them. My whole thing is that I have to set up spark for people to at least think for themselves to know that it is beyond what you get and it is how you treat what you got. There are certain intangibles that you gotta work for & fight for that really canít be given to you on a silver bar.
DAVEY D-Let me ask you this, one of the things that seems to be a phenomenon right now which some people will use as a criticism is that now that Hip Hop is wide spread you have a real interesting dynamic where some of the most conscious rappers very rarely get to perform in front of all Black audiences.
You go to a Mos Def show and itís mostly white people. A Talib show, white people even a PE show you start to find , at least on the younger end you find there are a lot of white people. With you guys you still seem to have a lot of older brothas but on the younger end you find a lot of white kids. Some people would go ďWell, are these artists & you guys still relevant to the community if they are not showing up? Considering the type of messages and politics youíre supporting what is that all about"?
CHUCK D- Itís a new found dynamic. I was talking to a young Caucasian writer, his name was Soren [Baker]..he used to for the LA Times. I have always been pleased at how much Soren has known about the parallels in Black music & Jazz & things like that. He is up on it- music education as well as a Journalist He would strike me out of left field, by surprise he is able to make comparisons w/ Jazz & Blues- in reference to Black-White. But you look at white people in America they are always continuously sold on their past, they always continuously being attached w/ the past. If you are attached to a past, thatís not trying to tell you about everything they are gonna claw & try & find the real deal in their past. If they are always attached to their past & there is something hidden in their past, they are gonna have the inhibition to actually claw for some actual facts to come up w/ a full picture of a past which will basically be a road map to their future.
Like I said as far as the Black community is concerned there has been a systematic success & disconnecting us w/ out past & totally just ruining our future & selling us the present for a price, & thatís the difference. In 2012 when they have elected Public Enemy for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland there is probably going to have 300 white folks in there that know every nook & cranny about our history, where we are from, our impact around the world, different nationalities will be there & meanwhile Black folks in Cleveland will be waiting for the Ludrcris of 2012 or wondering why Marvin Gaye wonít come back or Al Green wonít cut secular records anymore.
DAVEY D-What do you think can be done to change that? That is a big problem b/c it seems like thatís been the new dynamic is to separate the consciousness or a large part of the consciousness of the Black community from the masses.
CHUCK D-If it doesnít get through a captive system like the school systems & if television doesnít actually re-attach ourselves in the past, & our legacy & our music & if radio doesnít go much broader than whatís the here & now for profitís sake, then Black people will forever be detached from this important information of our cultural giving.. So we will always be in a position thinking that whatever comes along is a brand new thing when it could be done just 10 years earlier & somebody could go ďDag gone! This is Hot!Ē Oh yeah, you already seeing people making covers of records from 2 years ago & ya got some Black people sayiní itís hot. Ashanti is singing over the Biggie beat from 5 years ago and people say, oh thatís hot. So we donít even have things that actually float & take on the legacy of time b/c weíre constantly regurgitating right back into it. Itís good in some aspects but itís bad as far as creating a root. So I am not trying to get in the matter of White kids knowing more & more about us, itís been going on for a long period of time. As far as Black kids being not concerned itís not just Black kids Ė Black people 20-30, 30-40. What does the average 40 year old know about Jay Mcshan? [editors note: Jay Mcshan is a popular band leader from the 1940s who sung a popular song called Once Upon A Time']
DAVEY D-Right, right
CHUCK D-What does the average 40 year old, my age know about the Funk Brothers or what does the average 40 year old know about Chuck Jackson? (Laughing)
This is some of the information that we need to get in the household, now the households arenít even passing their information down. If it doesnít come from the schools of education or it doesnít come from the areas that Black people are subservient to as far as television & radio then weíre not gonna get it all. You see, in the past when everything was kept off of television and when everything was kept off of radio & when radio was independent then everything had to fight to get on anyway. Now since a certain amount was accepted & has been accepted that means they can pigeonhole & streamline into what they want as accepted as being Black & kinda exclude the other stuff that might be detrimental to the whole big picture that wants to work against them.
DAVEY D-I ask that question b/c I remember a couple of years ago, actually it was the year before last, when we had you on KMEL, the big station [Hot 97 equivalent] around here. Even though you had done the interview at my other station at KPFA , it was ironic b/c for the first time in 6 or 7 years people here in the Bay Area had heard you. The reaction was like 'Yo, I didnít even know that he was still around'!
That incident made me realize made me realize, itís like wait a second, the dude has been to the Bay Area dozens of times. But every time you came to town or KRS-1 came to town or even Talib or those guys there is somebody telling them, green lighting to say 'NO- they canít get on these airwaves'. They would say NO for no rhyme or reason. It would be somebody half your age saying:ď Oh no, Chuck is too old,Ē or somebody is saying: ď KRS is too deep,Ē or ď Talibís music just ainít right.Ē Iím just looking at this and I'm seeing at something that is almost deliberate... I donít know if similar incidents were taking place around the country.
I remember one incident where they wouldn't let you on the air, it was at a time when we were talking about the Digital Divide & you were in the fore front of fighting that and trying to hip people to the Internet. All of sudden, itís like we had people at the station saying; 'Naw we canít let Chuck on to talk about computers.. only music'. I'm like; 'Wait a second! This really concerns the community! Heís on the cutting edge, if anybody is gonna get young kids to get into technology it might be him so how come you arenít green lighting that? I donít know if thatís a phenomenon that is taking place all around the country?
CHUCK D- All around country!! Itís a 2000, 3000 mile box. Iíll put it to you this way, Dave, once they found out that they could use a Black face to sell to the whole country , a Black face & still sell to us, right?
DAVEY D- Uh huh
CHUCK D-Maybe you get that Black face in any other position that they want. Itís the marketability of how they can use ANY Black face to sell across anything that they want. Once upon a time, if I couldnít get on radio nobody couldnít get on radio & rap so nobody had any other choice but to scratch & scrape & find it. They would try & find it in areas to look for it. Once it became accepted then they were like a Black face , a Black voice, a Black face , a Black voice- we could put it on there.
If somebody who just has the naive nerve to be just like;
ď Oh man, where has Chuck been?"
I could be on CNN, I could be on HBO & I could be on Fox News all in one night and they all say ďWhere has Chuck been?Ē While they are sitting in front of the TV watching BET Comic View, or listening to KMEL all day long & expect me to pop on there? They got you where they want you! They got you not moving the dial & they could sell you anything from chicken neckbones, canned soda.. anything ! Cause they got your head where they want your head. We are no longer even challenging whoís selling us what. It's a shame that they know what comedians do b/c they watch Comic View or Martin Lawrence who got a special. Come on now. We know more whereabouts of the comedians & rappers who get arrested & in trouble more than people who actually do something for the community. So you shouldn't be surprised to hear artists that come along that say to themselves; ĒIf I get arrested maybe I get publicityĒ.
Yeah b/c thatís free publicity getting arrested. Now you got cats that will say; ĒYeah I will do 6 months- I will get a big enough news story that I will get 200,000 unitsĒ.
How twisted is that? We just think that as long as there is a Black face coming to me, I am with it. Thatís the biggest strip in the plan...
The people arenít people, the media has turned Black people into SHEEPLE. Following shepherds who are wolves dressed in sheepís clothing. To where? Just like sheep go to slaughter, hey use Hip-Hop as a counter intelligence program to garner people in like a Pied Piper.
Yeah we gonna drag you in w/ this & itís gonna be a big hook & a big worm & we gonna put all yíall on a plate to feast. Whoís actually gonna go to the feast? Well, the culprits all have their names, big business or whatever it might be, you got Black faces sitting at the table too. Sayiní ďYessim massa!Ē Itís like the House N***a is actually the one that is getting the 8-9 figures & everybody is sayiní well itís the House N***a, he is the one that made it big! Heís the big money makiní man. Yeah he's the House N***a that is sitting next to The Man. Now when I say the word N***a , first of all , even when you canít say it, ya know people canít say the word in such a way thatís so negative thatís only negative connotations to me. They might say it that you canít say it ,that I am condoning N***a activity. When you condone N***a activity they praise it, they put it on a pedestal & at the end of the day they say that there is a problem in Hip-Hop, there is a problem in our community, b/c the same N***a-izm that you put on a pedestal & praise, it happens to be around them. It reeks & it stinks & you try to ask where the problem be?
Now, none of us are saints, we do music, we do Hip-Hop music or whatever. My whole problem was that too many adults have brought too many kids to the table. Let the kids be kids. You got 29 & 30 year old makiní songs, selling songs being in companies , running TV stations, running radio outlets & they have brought children to the party- they brought children to the club. They got children wearing clothes that adults wear. My whole thing is as an adult you have that right, at 14, 13, 12 you donít have those rights w/ out navigation. Everybody comes down on R. Kelly but it has been 10 years of people that have adopted pedophilia in the media! Bob Dole is sitting around w/ a Pepsi can looking at a teenager, I mean thatís White society but in videos you se a 12 year old going;ĒOoohh, oohh..Ē What a 12 year old know about a club? What a 12 year old know about a pool party?
At the same time, you got adults saying, ďWell you know, I gotta eat, I gotta eat!Ē So they will sell anything b/c the first people that are gonna be impartial are on adult life is somebody that ainít even a adult yet. A 30 year old will be like;
ĒYeah, I listen to KMEL, but I ainít gonna be going ĎOoohh, ooh' let me request this song." So when people are up there trying to say ďWell, we gotta go by the number one request.Ē Who you gonna think running up to the phone other than a teenager?
DAVEY D- Right (Laughing)
CHUCK D-Somebody gonna be sittiní up in the car sayin ĒYeah I listen to it.ď but a adult might want to hear about Kam. He might wanna hear Guru. An adult might wanna hear E-40 , he might not wanna here Jadakiss on the first listen. But at the same time they ainít gonna want to request nothing on the radio. When you judge people based on the quantity as opposed to their quality of life & you look at them as just numbers, that is no different than slavery. Thatís where Hip-Hop/ Black music/the Black community thatís why itís in a rut right now. The people screaming about the problems, they canít do no screaming now b/c they chasing it on a pedestal. The same thing that theyíre complaining about is pertinent to aspect to where we are at right now.
DAVEY D-Wow thatís a lot to take in.
CHUCK D-Thatís what Iíve been saying Dave, somebody sayiní itís not business , itís just the way it is. Somebody sayiní ďWow thatís deep.Ē Itís not deep thatís unfortunate b/c itís not deep itís the obvious. Like I said, itís too bad that common sense, ainít common. So people pass it up & say ďOh man, brothaís deep.Ē and 20 years ago it would be like heís a grown cat just speaking his mind & whatís right.
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