*Public Enemy was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 27th annual induction ceremony. It was a historical moment for the controversial group that’s gone against the grain from the beginning.
For group member Chuck D, it’s an honor but also a moment of reflection.
“It’s not ever really been about us, it’s about how we can actually forward the genre, so we take this very seriously,” Chuck D tells theGrio. “I don’t think we’ve ever been popular. We’ve been kind of begrudgingly accepted. I tell people all the time, if we didn’t get a chance to get our passport in 1987 and leave this country, Public Enemy wouldn’t have lasted 26 years as a cultural group that set the stage. We come from Roosevelt, Long Island, that’s a lot of what this whole thing is about.”
Despite the group’s faded memory, their impression wasn’t the easiest to swallow because they dealt with cold hard Black American reality, throwing the Black power fist up and rapping against assimilation.
“We represent a lot of things to a lot of people across the world, who are looking at these moments,” says Chuck. “The question is what do we do with these moments, and how does this better the environment that gave us a platform to be able to make changes in peoples’ lives with the gift of music?”