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Enemy’s name was suggested for last year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the deciding forces looked deep into their history, analysed the band’s influence, their present social currency, their message, their chemistry, their stage show - and while it would have been a lengthy decision, with all boxes ticked, it would have been a resounding ‘YES’. We had less than an hour to decide whether we wanted to prep and interview Chuck D, the lyrical prophet of the group for our front cover. In the end, it was no difficult decision; when Public Enemy are in the frame, the answer is always going to be yes, yes, yes.


Y


Hey Chuck, are you expecting my call? Yes ma’am, I am. I’m driving; I’ve got you on my hands-free.


Well keep your eyes on the road as well – I don’t want to be the cause of any major losses in hip hop royalty.


12 /April 2013/ outlineonline.co.uk


ou can imagine that when Public


Tat’s alright, that’s what I do!


So where are you on your way to today? Down in L.A. I’ve got a bunch of meetings, one with Quincy Jones and one with the House of Blues where we had our Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame bash, the night before our induction.


Tat’s amazing, going for an interview with Quincy Jones – you know you’re in good company then, don’t you? Yeah, I’ve just got to have my eyes and my ears open so that he can give me some good advice. Lot of things are happening right now, so you know… Usually I’d be a lot more verbal and honest in interviews, but there’s a lot going on. Tere’s so much to do that I’ve just got to get it done, but I’m not really great at saying what’s gonna happen right now, ‘cause I’m in the middle. It’s in progress, you know.


Tat’s OK, I understand completely; we can talk about things that have passed though. Last year was 25 years in the game for you guys, and no sign of slowing down… Well you have to manage your time well, you know, especially when people have families. We live in eight different parts of the United States as a group, so when you’re together, managing your time is a little more difficult. You don’t wanna be consumed by any one thing; you don’t want to be consumed by business or art – it has to be a joy, you can’t be pressured by it.


As I said, you haven’t slowed pace at all though, releasing two albums last year. People digest music differently nowadays, don’t they, so it was a


strong statement releasing two albums in the same year… Yeah, it wasn’t like we just didn’t have the ideas to release one in 2011, but we thought the time was right in 2012 to actually put out two albums as a statement to digital distribution and to let people know that they can make art on their terms, and release it to the masses with new technology.


It’s been a strange thing that over the last few years, I’ve suddenly been classed as a veteran hip hop fan because I fly the flag for artists of your era. I certainly don’t feel like a veteran. It’s like classic hip hop has to come with this caveat of ‘old


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