Chuck D, is an American rapper, author, and producer. He helped create politically and socially conscious rap music in the late 1980s as the leader of the rap group, Public Enemy.
Upon hearing Chuck's demo track "Public Enemy Number One", fledgling producer/mogul Rick Rubin insisted on signing him to his
Def Jam label.
Chronologically, their major label albums were: Yo! Bum Rush the Show 1987, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 1988, Fear of a Black Planet 1990, Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black 1991, Greatest Misses 1992, and Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age 1994. They also released a full length album soundtrack for the film He Got Game in 1998. Ridenhour also contributed (as Chuck D) to several episodes of the PBS documentary series The Blues. He has appeared as a feature artist on many other songs and albums, having collaborated with artists such as Janet Jackson, Kool Moe Dee, The Dope Poet Society, Run-DMC, Ice Cube and many others. In 1990, he appeared on "Kool Thing", a song by the alternative rock band Sonic Youth. In 1993, he executive produced Got 'Em Running Scared, an album by Ichiban Records group "Chief Groovy Loo and the Chosen Tribe"
In 1996, Ridenhour released Autobiography Of Mistachuck on Mercury Records. In November 1998, he settled out of court with Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G" Wallace's estate over the latter's sampling of his voice in the song "Ten Crack Commandments". The specific sampling is Ridenhour counting off the numbers one to nine on the track "Shut Em Down".
In September 1999, he launched a multi-format "supersite" on the web site Rapstation.com. A home for the vast global hip hop community, the site boasts a TV and radio station with original programming, many of hip hop's most prominent DJs, celebrity interviews, free MP3 downloads (the first was contributed by multi-platinum rapper Coolio), downloadable ringtones by ToneThis, social commentary, current events, and regular features on turning rap careers into a viable living. Since 2000, he has been one of the most vocal supporters of Internet music file sharing in the music industry.
He loaned his voice to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as DJ Forth Right MC for the radio station Playback FM. He appeared with Henry Rollins in a cover of Black Flag's "Rise Above" for the album Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three. He recently contributed a chapter to Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture (The MIT Press, 2008) edited by Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky. Recently he contributed to The Go! Team's album Proof of Youth on the track "Flashlight Fight"
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