The most recent episode of Spotify’s Jemele Hill is Unbothered podcast features the host speaking with Hip Hop legend Chuck D. The Public Enemy frontman was on the show to promote the group’s new album What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down? While chatting with Hill, Chuck D was also asked about one of the most discussed topics in Hip Hop at the moment – Ice Cube’s “Contract With Black America.”
Cube admitted meeting with representatives of Donald Trump in an attempt to get the President’s team to embrace his Contract With Black America. His decision to sit down with an Administration many people, including Jemele Hill, believe is being led by a white supremacist was met with accusations of selling out and ridicule for possibly being used as a political pawn for the Republicans just weeks before Election Day on November 3.
Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) September 11, 2017
When I got bus to school. Homies called me a sellout. When I started rapping in 1983. Bangers called me a sellout. When I left NWA. They called me a sellout. When I start doing movies. Rappers called me a sellout. When I started my own league. The arena said it was a sellout.😂
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 16, 2020
When Hill asked Chuck D about younger generations not having the same revolutionary political mindset of Gen Xers like Ice Cube, he responded, “Today it’s sight, sound, story, and style. It’s coming in all different directions. So there’s a lot of things that people are feeling at the same time. They express themselves differently. They express themselves through social media. They might express themselves with something they did, can’t text, type, or even portray in a visual.”
The lyricist/activist continued, “So you gotta be able to be, as an old head, to be able to detect that and then be able to guide that. Because at the end of the day, we, as the old guard, are going to be moving up and out anyway. And they gotta be moving up and you can’t use youth as no excuse and no matter what you do. If I’m talking to a 17-year-old, right, I’m putting the leadership on them saying, ‘Okay, you at least gotta look at people your age group and under.'”
Chuck D then specifically spoke about Ice Cube and his Contract With Black America proposal. According to the 60-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, he spoke to his “little brother” in recent days. He offered his thoughts on Cube’s mission and everyday citizens’ responsibility to bring about electoral change.
“When Cube is talking about a contract in the United States, a Black America contract, it’s like, we just can’t be played for the okie-doke. We’ve been saying this. It has to keep on being said. There’s not a time to take off,” said Chuck D. ” “When President Obama was elected in 2008, to me, it was one of these going on in my head. This is an hourglass. Obama, right? The sales were always ticking to me.”
He added, “I didn’t vote for [Obama] thinking he was going to be Jesus or a messiah. You bought some time and you got to get it moving. Meaning you got to start convincing people around you that as a collective that gets some things done and don’t be a beach. You know what a beach is? It’s something that just sits there that erodes waiting for s### to wave and wash up on the shore. Got to get active. At least in your local [elections].”