We salute and wish a Happy Birthday to two revolutionary men of hip-hop, Chuck D and Professor Griff of Public Enemy!
Chuck D was born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour in Queens, New York. His Parents were political activists, which explains a lot about Chuck D’s voice on society and politics.
He turned down an architecture scholarship to pursue graphic design at Long Island’s Adelphi University. While working at a student radio station, he met Hank Shocklee, the future brainchild of The Bomb Squad – who produced many of P.E.’s biggest hits.
Professor Griff, real name Richard Griffin, is a former army veteran who Chuck D enlisted to join P.E. as the road manager and minister of information for the group.
Known as being one of the most vocal of the groups, Professor Griff was dropped from the group after making anti-semitic comments. He was reinstated, but then dismissed again when he made negative comments towards fellow P.E. members in an interview.
Despite the controversy, Griff has come to be known as a vocal and important piece to hip-hop and its relation to sociopolitical matters. In his 2009 book, “Analtyixz”, he apologized for his anti-Semitic remarks. He has since returned to the group and tours with them to this day.
The legendary outfit that is Public Enemy is still KILLING shows these days. We at the station saw this live in person when they destroyed the stage at our first annual Boom Bash.
Today we salute Chuck D and Professor Griff on their birthdays, but also to all of Public Enemy for their immense contributions to hip-hop! Drop a comment below to let us know what your favorite P.E. song is.