Chuck D has been at the forefront of Black Power consciousness in Hip-Hop for over 30 years as the lead emcee of Public Enemy. Much has been made of the 2020 presidential election, especially with the Democratic and Republican nominees. Chuck D gives his take on things from supporting Kamala Harris to what’s next to how real it gets in other countries.
AllHipHop: If 45 gets elected for another four years, are we in the worst-case scenario, I mean, where do you think we’re at?
Chuck D.: Voting in the United States has been highly primitive. Cave mannish ever since you got the Eenie, Meenie Miney Moe, you got one of two choices. I cannot critique David Banner because I think his idea is that Trump was the lesser of two evils.
And some people think that Biden and Harris are the lesser of two evils. Bottom line, you have to be proactive. Not just in the beauty pageant of your presidential election or selection. You have to be proactive in your local area more than ever. The promise of the United States means what?
There’s a lot of different fiefdoms all in operation that you have to have over standing. Even if you understand the fact that counties have plantations, you go from one county to the next county and one county says, “well, that’s what they do over there. We don’t do that in this county.”
How many counties can you count in the United States? Well, you go on Senators and stuff like that. So knowing who to vote for in your locality. One beautiful thing that we knew out of this energy that happened earlier this year is that young people stomped in their locale to make some change. And if they looked at a statue that just sat up there for the last hundred years, derogatory to the people that lived there. Then they said, “well, we’ll take it down.” That’s it no mistake that 45 would say that he would pass out 10-year bids, if you take down a statue of even somebody was derogatory.
So if that ain’t fascism, I don’t know what it is. Guessing to see if somebody is a fascist, against somebody saying that they’re a fascist and a racist in your grill?
I’ve been to 116 countries. I’ve been some places they call “gun to the head government.” So sometimes getting out of that USA gear opens yourself up to the world.
I’ll be real plain and simple. I’m a little biased. Kamala Harris. Cool. You’re a Black woman go on for you. That’s how crazy this s### is. And if you want to come to me with all your theories, yeah, okay. Obama was Skull & Bones, yeah, fantastic. But I’m telling you, I’ve been to the “gun to the head” governments man.
You go into Jakarta. They tell you “listen, man. Do your songs. Don’t talk to the people.” The minute you say something to the people that’s your a##.
Today, if your a## gets caught out there in one of the 214 countries, ain’t nobody gonna save you from the United States. We got to figure out what caboose to get on and how you kind of make it better. And the reason why you have to make it better is because you got loved ones. They probably can’t survive like you, even if you know how to survive.
You may say “you know I could make pancakes out of acorns in the woods.” Fantastic, man. Try to get that across to your seed that’s looking at you on an Xbox. Your girl is giving you problems now, cause she ain’t feeling you being in the woods.
You got to make it happen or not make it happen, dog. Yes. I’m just saying we’re at a point right now, it’s no time for micro differences. None. Right now it’s November 3. After November 3, it’s time to man or woman up no matter who’s up in there.
Let me tell you this much. You got animosity just triggered on Black folks, on the regular. Not too long ago, you had cats, throwing money at the camera and s### like that. So if you’re a poor white boy in Arkansas, you ain’t got a black person that you have as a friend and you’re looking at everything online? You might build up some animosity coming out of your head that ain’t legit, but it’s kind of like in your head. And it’s swollen up on all the stuff by just always being online.
Black folks were even mad at all these images. This was just why we were p##### off, “like every black person, they like that, how about the good images of black people? How about the black people that tried to come up and try to do some change every day?” We ain’t all like that. But we are looking at these images that come out of somewhere else. And they are looking at these images that come out somewhere else, getting animosity at us!
What made that young white guy, 20 years old in Charlottesville. What made him have so much racism in him to run over that woman in Charlottesville? He was like it was damn near like in 1892.
So I’m just gonna nail it here. This is why you always attack systemic racism, sexism, all those “isms,” the ills of society.
The biggest difference between 1990 when We Did Fear of a Black Planet when I already been in 60 countries and 2020 with “Fight The Power 2020” on What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down…the biggest difference?
People have been born and people have died. That’s the difference. So you can’t go around saying “haven’t we been through this before?” You look at somebody 21 and they are like “what the f### are you talking about old head?” Older people on their way out say “we kind of went through this s### before.” Younger people are like I don’t know what the f### you talking about dude.
When you don’t have that communication passed down or a learned experience from others, and have somebody’s intermediaries come in and teach instead of you teaching face to face?
We are going to have these problems.