According to Public Enemy’s Chuck D., MTV has
censored their "Gotta Give The People What They Need" video. Chuck
D. said in a statement released to DaveyD.com that MTV objected to the song’s
references to controversial incarcerated figure Mumia Abu-Jamal.
"They’re playing the hell out of Nelly and
Khia, dumbing American kids down to ‘its so hot imma take my clothes off’ down
from ‘my neck to the crack of my ass’ with a ‘shot of Courvosier’ .No offense
to the prior two artists, because I really don’t think they know any better,"
Chuck D. said.
"We’ve ( black people on screen ) been
reduced to comedy," he continued. "As an artist I’ve been fighting
all my career
in a genre that has been hijacked by ‘culture bandits’, simply cats who’ve used
rap music and hip-hop as a personal whatever without putting anything back where
they’ve got it from in the first place."
MTV came to what could be deemed a "compromise,"
by claiming they would air the video if the group agreed to edit the word "free"
before Mumia Abu-Jamal.
"I refuse to edit out the Mumia audio and
visual," Chuck said. "That’s crazy and they must be out of their f*cking
"They didn’t mention the H. Rap Brown (former
Black Panther Party leader who is accused of shooting and killing a police officer
in Atlanta, GA) Rap Brown part which befuddles me for he’s accused of the same
thing. Maybe they’re so unfamiliar and dumb that they don t know who he is and
think I’m talking about some Brown rappin cat or something. I play the race
card for real in this case. The charge of Viacom/MTV reducing us to comedy through
images forces me to flip that card out."
Chuck admitted that it wasn’t the fact that it
wasn’t about playing the Public Enemy video, as much as it was the fact that
they requested him to censor his view point. "If they think having a political
viewpoint in music is irrelevant, it’s because they’ve taken the Nazi approach
in censoring it themselves," Chuck D. said.
MTV had no comment.