Skip to comments.Chuck D Raps About Politics on New Radio Network
Posted on 04/08/2004 9:12:31 PM PDT by RightWingAtheist
NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the founder of the groundbreaking rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D blended music and politics in hits like the 1989 anthem "Fight the Power."
Now he's "rapping" about politics on Air America Radio, a new and unabashedly liberal radio network.
His show "Unfiltered," which began this month in five markets, teams the rapper with comedian Lizz Winstead and radio veteran Rachel Maddow in a three-hour format that promises to examine the state of U.S. politics and culture.
The 43-year-old musician is promising to put his unique stamp on the show, using it to revitalize black political commentary.
"I was weaned as a young adult on black talk radio. It should never have disappeared from the landscape. So when Air America talked to me, I thought this could be the spark for more talk about the black situation," he said in an interview at the New York studios of Air America.
Davey D, author of a recent editorial in The Source magazine on the need for a liberal host accessible to the minority community, said the rapper has the right blend of street credibility and political consciousness to appeal to that particular demographic.
"Chuck D is a lightning rod. People will go out of their way to listen to him," said Davey D.
Still, this won't be your typical liberal show. "Don't think I'm going to be here just calling out the right," Chuck D said. "There's some things the left looks upon as being cool and hip that's derogatory to us as black people and I'll be addressing that on the show."
DIVERSITY OF GUESTS
Chuck D, born Carlton Ridenhour, said the show's emphasis would be on a diverse roster of guests.
"We'll have the Spike Lees and the Kevin Powells (an author and activist), but at the same time we want to bring people who are rarely heard."
In New York, Air America is broadcasting on an AM radio station, WLIB, that had been built around a music and Caribbean-focused format.
The irony of a network promising diverse opinions effectively co-opting a vibrant, if financially strapped, minority voice in the community is not lost on Chuck D.
"It's almost like you've been invited into somebody's house and they couldn't pay the rent and now you're inside but some of your friends are out on the street," the rapper said.
"Maybe my place here is to spark the conversation about why this was necessary, talk to those 25-year-olds who want to win concert tickets and tell them that this is something they should care about."
To that end, Chuck D said he would be open to inviting a wide range of people onto the show, including conservative Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox TV's "O'Reilly Factor" and rival of his Radio America cohort, Al Franken.
THE BLACK CNN
It's all about encouraging dialogue and understanding, he said.
"There are glaring mistakes in the way the left handles things so that makes it easy for people like Bill O'Reilly to come out and criticize," he said.
The man who once called rap music the "black CNN" said music would not be as important on "Unfiltered" as the political commentary, although he still wants to someday host a Top-20 hip hop countdown show.
Besides Franken, Chuck D shares the Air America airwaves with actress Janeane Garofalo (news), radio personality Mark Riley and talk veteran Randi Rhodes.
"Unfiltered" co-host Lizz Winstead said :"Everyone at Air America Radio thinks the administration is taking the country in the wrong direction. We just come at it in different ways."
Added Chuck D: "Whatever I do is a reflection of my convictions."
A similar conviction ran through Public Enemy's lyrics in the 1980s and 1990s, which, according to some, should make the show a success.
"If he brings that same passion to the radio, it's going to be good," said Adisa Banjoko, host of the West Coast Internet political culture show, "One Mic."
"Talk radio is a medium with a lot of talk but no action," said James Clingman, author of the weekly syndicated column "Blackonomics" and former editor of the Cincinnati Herald newspaper. "Chuck D speaks to a different audience (and) I hope this will spur people to action."
I wonder if you have to be as dumb as a cRapper to understand his drivel?
Meaning that they'll have obscure liberal windbags along with overexposed liberal windbags.That's liberal 'diversity' for you.
Chuck D once cited Knicks commentator Marv Albert as an influence on his Rapping, I kid you not!
Marv, or Marv's hair hat?
Hey, isn't it kind of early for you to be here tonight?! ;D
Black community talk radio can be found here:
Houston's oldest black owned radio station (over 50 years old).
KCOH Radio is the oldest black radio station in Texas as well as the southern portion of the United States. Established in 1953, KCOH began broadcasting from downtown Houston in the M&M building. In 1963, a new studio was built at the corner of Wichita and Alameda that has been the home of KCOH ever since. Recognized as a forerunner in black radio stations, KCOH has been the first in the field to include talk show programming, gospel and many other types of shows with their urban listeners in mind.
I don't think that Chuck D would agree with morning host Michael Harris, who is routinely hassled by Democrat callers as being "Bush's boy" and other derisive comments by modern democrats who can't believe that a man, a minister, can be black AND have conservative views.
Govenor Rick Perry at the KCOH Radio Station with Michael Harris. Govenor Perry is the the first sitting governor to appear on "Person to Person", answering phone in calls from KCOH listeners.
The website streams audio using Real Player.
Listen to the Whipped Cream remixes (a 2-sided vinyl single) by The Evolution Control Committee. It puts Chuck's raps over Herb Alpert and the Tia Juana Brass.
Another single they released has Dan Ratherbiased listing atrocities ("rocked by rape") over AC/DC's Back In Black riff.
Meanwhile, Chuck D. challenged listeners to question their assumptions about white America and the black community with a booming baritone voice (he said that his biggest vocal influence was sports announcer Marv Albert), while his friend and comic sidekick William Drayton (who became Flavor Flav as he donned ridiculous sunglasses and hung a giant clock around his neck) deftly tap-danced through the mix, cracking wise and seconding his pal's heaviest pronouncements ("Yeee-ah!").
There you go...
You can polish a turd all you want, but its still a turd.