*Rap group Public Enemy and its leader Chuck D appear to be even busier now than during their heyday in the 1990s, according to Billboard.com.
The collective is gearing up for what will be its 69th, 70th and 71st tours this year. Through its SLAMjamz digital label (SLAMjamz.com), PE recently released the benefit album “Kombit pou Haiti,” with proceeds donated to the Lambi Fund in Haiti.
Coming in the spring: a “Welcome to the Terrordome” three-CD/three-DVD boxed set encompassing live tracks, videos and documentaries from the past 12 years of PE’s work; a Chuck D solo album, “Mistachuck: Don’t Rhyme for the Sake of Riddlin’”; and “It’s Back to a Million of Us to Hold a Nation,” by PE backing band the baNNed.
The forthcoming instrumental set reinterprets PE’s 1988 classic, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.”
And don’t forget Chuck D’s radio show launched in November on WBAI.org — “AndYouDontStop!” — with plans to expand across the Pacifica Radio network and as a podcast on iTunes.
Also in the works are three key ventures: SellaBand, a Web site where the general public can invest in artists (PE has raised more than $57,000 for its next album from investments in $25 increments); the Chuck D and Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo-created Web site HipHopGods.com, an archive site focusing on the history of classic rap; and FightThePower.org, a nonprofit company established by Chuck D to continue to fight for artists’ rights in terms of publishing, copyright and masters ownership.
In an interview with Billboard, Chuck D reflected on the creative climate that spawned “Fear,” PE’s early involvement in the Internet revolution and the evolution of rap and hip-hop. View the entire interview here.