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Chuck D says rap artists should resist dumbing down


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Rap star: Resist dumbing-down movement

By Corey G. Johnson The Daily Reflector

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Chuck D, leader of the award-winning rap group Public Enemy, told ECU students Wednesday to resist a dumbing-down movement taking place in American culture.

"Minds are the real estate of the new millennium," Chuck D said to the diverse crowd of nearly 250 at Wright Auditorium. "The worst thing that can happen is to have someone thinking for you."

Sponsored by the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the ECU Student Union Cultural Awareness Committee, the speech was organized largely in response to what students said they wanted to hear, Lathan Turner, assistant vice chancellor for student life, said.

"Even though some consider him controversial, many see him as insightful, informative and in most cases, motivational," Turner said. "Chuck D's name kept showing up in our focus groups in the top ten list of desired speakers."

Speaking from the theme, "Race, Rap, Reality and Technology," Public Enemy's lead lyricist tackled a plethora of topics from the Hurricane Katrina disaster to what he called the "virtual pedophilia" of sexually-suggestive programming being targeted to youth.

He called Viacom-owned MTV and BET – empty TV and the Booty and Thug network.

"BET markets their award show as playing during prime time. Prime time usually means you're watching with your family and kids," he said. "Then the next thing you know, Destiny's Child is up onstage doing a lap dance. Did the decision to go from being a 'Survivor' to doing lap dances take place in some boardroom."

Chuck D also accused corporate powers of "lobotomizing" black public figures in music and television. As a result, he said rap music in 2005 doesn't feel the same to him.

"A lot of today's artists' number one obligation is to their contract." he said. "They are going to do what their masters say."

He applauded rapper Kanye West's courage for publicly voicing criticism during the reason Hurricane Katrina disaster but warned that West might lose his mainstream status in the backlash.

West previously suggested the slow federal response to rescue New Orleans citizens was a result of "George Bush not caring about black people."

"He's got to know that he will no longer be considered in Britney Spears' land," he said.

He also suggested the controversy surrounding West's remarks is proof of how far consciousness has devolved.

"You shouldn't be surprised that an artist has something to say instead of BS," Chuck D said. "Kanye West did what a 28-year-old grown, voting man should do. But how is what he is saying considered crazy when you got songs like Face Down, (Behind) Up playing at 1:30 everyday?"

Chuck D also mocked students who try to bring street thuggism into the university.

"There are two cottage industries that result from thuggism – prison and dead. And both of them are making a lot of money," he said. "There is no such thing as a collegiate thug, so stop fronting."

He challenged the students to take advantage of their educational opportunities in order to develop their own mind.

"Don't be indecisive. Leave here with your own mind," he said. "You can't afford not to."

Yelitza Ortiz, 18, of Fayetteville, said she was first introduced to Chuck D and Public Enemy four years with the song "Fight the Power." She said Wednesday's speech was an eye-opener.

"I went into the speech not knowing what to expect, but there were things he said about the pop culture that I would have never thought of before," Ortiz said. "It really made me think."

Corey G. Johnson can be reached at cjohnson@coxnc.com or 329-9565.

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So what does everybody think about it? I'm surprised that Chuck D would say that Kanye West's career is in jeopordy from what he said when he's selling 1.5 million right now, I thought that what he said about Bush would've myself after he first said it but actually it appeared that his sales got higher probably since a lot of people actually agree with him since Bush's approval rating is down, too bad not too many people pay attention to what Chuck D says though.

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Rap star: Resist dumbing-down movement

By Corey G. Johnson The Daily Reflector

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Chuck D, leader of the award-winning rap group Public Enemy, told ECU students Wednesday to resist a dumbing-down movement taking place in American culture.

"Minds are the real estate of the new millennium," Chuck D said to the diverse crowd of nearly 250 at Wright Auditorium. "The worst thing that can happen is to have someone thinking for you."

Sponsored by the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center and the ECU Student Union Cultural Awareness Committee, the speech was organized largely in response to what students said they wanted to hear, Lathan Turner, assistant vice chancellor for student life, said.

"Even though some consider him controversial, many see him as insightful, informative and in most cases, motivational," Turner said. "Chuck D's name kept showing up in our focus groups in the top ten list of desired speakers."

Speaking from the theme, "Race, Rap, Reality and Technology," Public Enemy's lead lyricist tackled a plethora of topics from the Hurricane Katrina disaster to what he called the "virtual pedophilia" of sexually-suggestive programming being targeted to youth.

He called Viacom-owned MTV and BET – empty TV and the Booty and Thug network.

"BET markets their award show as playing during prime time. Prime time usually means you're watching with your family and kids," he said. "Then the next thing you know, Destiny's Child is up onstage doing a lap dance. Did the decision to go from being a 'Survivor' to doing lap dances take place in some boardroom."

Chuck D also accused corporate powers of "lobotomizing" black public figures in music and television. As a result, he said rap music in 2005 doesn't feel the same to him.

"A lot of today's artists' number one obligation is to their contract." he said. "They are going to do what their masters say."

He applauded rapper Kanye West's courage for publicly voicing criticism during the reason Hurricane Katrina disaster but warned that West might lose his mainstream status in the backlash.

West previously suggested the slow federal response to rescue New Orleans citizens was a result of "George Bush not caring about black people."

"He's got to know that he will no longer be considered in Britney Spears' land," he said.

He also suggested the controversy surrounding West's remarks is proof of how far consciousness has devolved.

"You shouldn't be surprised that an artist has something to say instead of BS," Chuck D said. "Kanye West did what a 28-year-old grown, voting man should do. But how is what he is saying considered crazy when you got songs like Face Down, (Behind) Up playing at 1:30 everyday?"

Chuck D also mocked students who try to bring street thuggism into the university.

"There are two cottage industries that result from thuggism – prison and dead. And both of them are making a lot of money," he said. "There is no such thing as a collegiate thug, so stop fronting."

He challenged the students to take advantage of their educational opportunities in order to develop their own mind.

"Don't be indecisive. Leave here with your own mind," he said. "You can't afford not to."

Yelitza Ortiz, 18, of Fayetteville, said she was first introduced to Chuck D and Public Enemy four years with the song "Fight the Power." She said Wednesday's speech was an eye-opener.

"I went into the speech not knowing what to expect, but there were things he said about the pop culture that I would have never thought of before," Ortiz said. "It really made me think."

Corey G. Johnson can be reached at cjohnson@coxnc.com or 329-9565.

Hey BigTed, can I have a link to this article please? Glad to see Chuck laying down the knowledge, but then I expect it from him. :word:

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http://www.publicenemy.com/index.php?page=page2&item=117

That's the link to the article, they have quite a few interesting articles on that Public Enemy site, there's an article about the new Public Enemy album called "New Whirl Odor" that hit Best Buy stores last week and is gonna be on sale at other retail stores on Nov. 1st, and there's a link their new video "Bring That Beat Back" on there too, I'm gonna check for that! :rockon:

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I bet a lot of the students there probably didn't know who Chuck D was until then, if I was there I'd bring one of my Public Enemy CDs so he could sign it for me, lol, I think the dumbing down will gradually lead to disinterest after awhile, you could see record sales are going down, even 50 Cent's selling less than half of what he sold first album, going from 12 million to 5 million but he's still the most popular one which tells you that people are losing interest in commercial rap, next album he'll barely hit platinum I bet and the rest of them will struggle even worse, sooner or later people are gonna be bored with it unless something fresh comes out.

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I bet a lot of the students there probably didn't know who Chuck D was until then, if I was there I'd bring one of my Public Enemy CDs so he could sign it for me, lol, I think the dumbing down will gradually lead to disinterest after awhile, you could see record sales are going down, even 50 Cent's selling less than half of what he sold first album, going from 12 million to 5 million but he's still the most popular one which tells you that people are losing interest in commercial rap, next album he'll barely hit platinum I bet and the rest of them will struggle even worse, sooner or later people are gonna be bored with it unless something fresh comes out.

:word: Fresh things have already came out (L&F for example) but nobody realizes it. So we got Chuck D and LL Cool J criticizing the lyrics of hip hop today, and we need more people to be saying this kind of stuff so it'll actually make an impact in the music industry. They all need to invade MTV or something and just say it on tv! :lolsign:

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Yeah "Lost and Found"'s out there selling only gold, Public Enemy's new album "New Whirl Odor" dropped last week too and is probably gonna do even less since it's hardly being promoting I'll be surprised if it sells 100,000 even when it hits all stores next month 'cause I doubt that BET or MTV will play their new video "Bring That Beat Back" since they don't even play "Party Starter" and they banned Lil' Brother's video too so that album's falling off the charts selling 30,000, Casual's new album pretty fresh too but it's not even impacting much independently it's probably barely selling a few thousand, I need to word that differently 'cause there is some fresh stuff out now but it's not doing the type of impact that it should be.

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