FNV: Interview w/ Chuck D pt 3....


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.  It's about being clear & concise about the exact
& absolute problems that we have in our communication.  As a community
we don't 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 "1984" 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 don't 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 it's 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 aren't 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 it's 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; "Oh man,Chuck is just bitter."...  until you find out
they are connected to the radio station or to these media outlets &
it's 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 'that's 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 it's 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.  It's just not Black people living all
alone in America, b/c first of all, we don't 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 don't go to the service, if
they don't get a job, if they don't go to college, the streets or jail
are there waiting for them, like it's 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 isn't common knowledge
anymore it's nonsense.  I don't want to get into the thing where
someone is listening to the radio and they say "Man, that's 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 can't 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 it's
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 "Well, are these artists & you guys still relevant to
the community if they are not showing up?  Considering the type of
messages and politics you're supporting what is that all about"?

CHUCK D- It's 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, that's 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, & that's 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 won't
come back or Al Green won't 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 that's 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 doesn't get through a captive system like the school
systems & if television doesn't actually re-attach ourselves in the
past, & our legacy & our music & if radio doesn't go much broader than
what's the here & now for profit's 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 "Dag gone!  This is Hot!"  Oh yeah, you
already seeing people making covers of records from 2 years ago & ya
got some Black people sayin' it's hot.  Ashanti is singing over the
Biggie beat from 5 years ago and people say, oh that's hot.  So we
don't even have things that actually float & take on the legacy of
time b/c we're constantly regurgitating right back into it.  It's good
in some aspects but it's 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, it's been going on for a long period of time.  As far as Black
kids being not concerned it's not just Black kids - 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 aren't even passing their information down.  If it
doesn't come from the schools of education or it doesn't come from the
areas that Black people are subservient to as far as television &
radio then we're 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 didn 't even know that he was still

That incident made me realize made me realize, it's 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
can't get on these airwaves'.  They would say NO for no rhyme or
reason.  It would be somebody half your age saying:" Oh no, Chuck is
too old," or somebody is saying: " KRS is too deep," or " Talib's
music just ain't right."  I'm just looking at this and I'm seeing at
something that is almost deliberate...  I don't 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, it's like we had people at the station
saying; 'Naw we can't let Chuck on to talk about computers..  only
music'.  I'm like; 'Wait a second!  This really concerns the
community!  He's on the cutting edge, if anybody is gonna get young
kids to get into technology it might be him so how come you aren't
green lighting that?  I don't know if that's a phenomenon that is
taking place all around the country?

CHUCK D- All around country!!  It's a 2000, 3000 mile box.  I'll 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.  It's the marketability of how they can use ANY Black face to
sell across anything that they want.  Once upon a time, if I couldn't
get on radio nobody couldn't 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; " 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 "Where has Chuck
been?"  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 who's 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; "If
I get arrested maybe I get publicity".

Yeah b/c that's free publicity getting arrested.  Now you got cats
that will say; "Yeah I will do 6 months- I will get a big enough news
story that I will get 200,000 units".  How twisted is that?  We just
think that as long as there is a Black face coming to me, I am with
it.  That's the biggest strip in the plan...

The people aren't people, the media has turned Black people into
SHEEPLE.  Following shepherds who are wolves dressed in sheep's
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

Yeah we gonna drag you in w/ this & it's gonna be a big hook & a big
worm & we gonna put all y'all on a plate to feast.  Who's 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.  Sayin' "Yessim massa!"  It's like the House N***a is
actually the one that is getting the 8-9 figures & everybody is sayin'
well it's the House N***a, he is the one that made it big!  He's the
big money makin' 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 can't say it, ya know people can't say the word in such a way
that's so negative that's only negative connotations to me.  They
might say it that you can't 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 makin' 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 don't 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 that's White society but
in videos you se a 12 year old going;"Ooohh, oohh.."  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, "Well you know, I gotta eat,
I gotta eat!"  So they will sell anything b/c the first people that
are gonna be impartial are on adult life is somebody that ain't even a
adult yet.  A 30 year old will be like; "Yeah, I listen to KMEL, but I
ain't gonna be going 'Ooohh, ooh' let me request this song."  So when
people are up there trying to say "Well, we gotta go by the number one
request."  Who you gonna think running up to the phone other than a

DAVEY D- Right (Laughing)

CHUCK D-Somebody gonna be sittin' up in the car sayin "Yeah I listen
to it."  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 ain't 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.  That's where
Hip-Hop/ Black music/the Black community that's why it's in a rut
right now.  The people screaming about the problems, they can't do no
screaming now b/c they chasing it on a pedestal.  The same thing that
they're complaining about is pertinent to aspect to where we are at
right now.

DAVEY D-Wow that's a lot to take in.

CHUCK D-That's what I've been saying Dave, somebody sayin' it's not
business , it's just the way it is.  Somebody sayin' "Wow that's
deep."  It's not deep that's unfortunate b/c it's not deep it's the
obvious.  Like I said, it's too bad that common sense, ain't common.
So people pass it up & say "Oh man, brotha's deep."  and 20 years ago
it would be like he's a grown cat just speaking his mind & what's


DAVEY D- That makes sense & all that.  Just before I wrap this up, a
couple of things- KRS-One is on record saying he paid Funkmaster Flex
$40,0000 to play his record & Funkmaster Flex only played it one time.
How common is this phenomenon of money being exchanged for airplay &
even on the level where it's not even the Program director but it's a
DJ like Flex?  What is this doing for the Rap game?  Is this enhancing
it?  Is it just business as usual?  We play the game if we get into
it?  Or is this messing things up for everybody?

CHUCK D- It's a cycle of greed that takes place when people instead of
doing their job feel that they have the power.  the Source Magazine
has their Power 50 or 40 or whateva number that it is [Power 30] ,
they got faces in there that have nothing to do w/ Hip-Hop.  So what
if you're a head of a big radio conglomerate?  What that got to do
with power & Hip-Hop?  That's like saying George Bush might as well be
one of those power brokers in Hip-Hop b/c he is President of this
country.  Come on now!  I think it's a cycle of greed.

Once a upon a time, Hip-Hop as an industry had everybody was on the
same accord so a balancing act had to take place.  In the 1980's
college radio DJ' s were just happy to see their name on a back of a
record, like Run would put on the back of Rock the House, Profile
Records, Rush Management & Run DMC would make the effort to thank a
Lady B[Well known Philly DJ and pioneer].  Later on Public Enemy would
make the effort to thank a Beni B [Bay Area Hip Hop Coalition, Davey D
& Marcus Clemmons[DJ at SF community station KP00].  As we went
further along a lot of these record companies and DJs got greedy.  The
DJ's went from getting their name acknowledged, then they got the free
hats & t-shirts.  All of a sudden the college & the street play meant
a lot more then it did previously.


CHUCK D- Then in the mid 90's when the corporations started to get
involved started going tit for tat.  They began using big corporate
money to swing guys in.  They were flying people to Hawaii & bringing
them to different places & just lacing them.  So if a DJ just happen
to get free records from a label & they got laced out & they were just
a college jock from Tulsa, Oklahoma, you know they was thankful!  So
for the first time in 80's they was getting acknowledged & getting
catered to w/ no structure around them at all.  There was nobody
watching and setting a standard.  If you hit off a DJ real nice & give
them some play for the first time in their life when they going to
college, you as a record label, got them in the pocket.  All that got
out of hand b/c everybody, in the record industry if you not inventing
a method then you copy a method.  All of a sudden you got all these
sub-labels under 5 or 6 major record labels all trying to do the same
method.  All you got to do is check the waist lines of all the Rap DJs
& college DJs in the mid 90's-late 90's.  Record labels reps were
getting Diner's Cards & they was feeding these DJs just like pigs in
the sloth.  "Come on over little piggy- we'll feed you, we'll feed you
to the point of no return.  By the end of the century you had all of
these rap radio DJ's who were all over 280 pounds.At one point, a guy
like Flex had to check himself because he had gained so much weight.

DAVEY D- That is so funny, but people joke about that but that is
true.  That would be the trick, take everybody to dinner.

CHUCK D-Yup!Let them pig out.  So if the food didn't work, then cats
was getting hit off with cars.  It was the same thing that happened
back in the days in the 50's when you had so many record companies
operating making 45s & the DJ was getting 150 45s every two weeks.
How are they going to fit it in the whole time?  So that was when the
first levels of PAYOLA was in effect & they had to get that regulated.

Nobody was going to pay attention to Rap music b/c Rap music was
pretty much relegated to college shows & mix shows on major radio.
This was under the radar so to speak.  It was under the radar but the
music was so contagious that although it was under the radar the music
just caught on like wild fire anyway.  Cats got influence and cats got
hit off all the way to the point that somebody like a was Flex getting
a record played in New York could demand price tag of $40,000 to play
it once.  That is too much power to any individual b/c the airwaves
belong to the people.  They don't belong to a company.  At least the
was the formal understanding.  You are not gonna put the airwaves in
the hands of 2 or 3 individuals in front of 15-16 million people.
Somebody got to put that back in check or put that person back in
check b/c it's just too much power.

That is the same thing that goes on w/ MTV or even BET.  You got
people sitting around a table judging what's a video, what's not a
video.  That's why I say these situations are very easy to attack, if
you feel that the community is not getting the proper say so and a Rap
Label is not getting the proper representation it is very easy to go
to BET and try to figure out who sits around the table and judges
these videos and end up making a 12 year old wear a thong to the 8th
grade.  You can find out about these people real quick.  Who makes the
decisions on what.  It's only a few outlets-BET,MTV,M2 ,Much Music.
As far as radio you got Clear Channel, Emmis, Radio One Those 3 are
the main culprits.

DAVEY D- Right

CHUCK D- The biggest thing is that what you want to do is if you want
influence, you want to change some of the imagery, get it by the
culprits.  I will put it to you in real plain speak-, when you go into
the kitchen & your kitchen is infested- you got a problem.  When you
turn on the light them roaches start running but turning on the light
is just identifying their name & that's why we use the Internet.  Get
their name around, get their address and their names.  You don't have
to threaten them, all you gotta do is pass their names around.

DAVEY D- Well, that's something to think about.  CHUCK D- In the case
of KRS-1 or myself we are always in the public eye & we are always on
'Jump street'.  My whole thing is like I just welcome people to the
party.  People know me so why don't people know you?


CHUCK D- Steven Hill runs BET so a lot of times when I have a
discussion w/ Steven Hill & I'm beating him up I'm like 'come on now,
come on'.  Lyor Cohen runs Def Jam- people should know this.  Black
people are lacking, it's almost like the knowledge that we have is
just as painful as having no knowledge at all.  You have to be
thorough w/ information in order to make a judgment call.  So when
someone actually clear enough to make a judgment call it is easier for
someone that doesn't know anything at all to pass it off and say; "Oh
man, he's just bitter."  Of course it sounds like the House N***a who
is looking in the field & when the field brother looks at him & says;
"Damn, sometimes I want to get in there & get a glass of water."  The
House N***a says:" "I'm in a good position, you are just bitter b/c
you out there in the field.  You don't even know how good it is to be
sitting here w/ the massa hitting me off w/ platinum jewelry & big
rims & get to sleep in the massa's bedroom w/ his girls & his chicks."
It's the same thing.  We got all the way to the point where here we
came to 2002 & to where we actually endorse slavery all over again in
another form.  And it's in a higher form b/c it's mind control.  It's
intangible, it's not something that you can readily put your finger
on.  So all them cats that say that they never go back to slavery
again, think again & just look at yourself & just figure out what
world you're in.  Is the world outside your head?  Or is the world
inside your head?

DAVEY D- Chuck, I appreciate it.  Good luck on everything & if people
want to get a hold of you they can drop you an email at

CHUCK D-You can also go to Slamjamz.com or just got to PublicEnemy.com
& it will take you everywhere you that want to go on the home page.  I
really appreciate talking to you Dave always.  When we come to the Bay
Area we are going to build with some people.  I hope people will be
like " So what's Chuck been doing?"

DAVEY D- Yup & that is a reality.  Look, appreciate it & thanks a lot
for that...
===========END OF NEWSLETTER===========

The FNV Newsletter c 2002
Send comments to:
peep the websites


[home] [articles] [davey d boards] [what is hip hop? ]
[politics] [record reviews] [photos] [links] [media]

this site is produced by Davey D in association with eLine Productions

Please note.. This site looks and operates best in
Internet Explorer
i.e. You will not see scrolling text and other features in Netscape!