Chuck D is reflecting on the history of Hip-Hop and its worldwide impact ahead of the 50th anniversary later this year in a new PBS docuseries, Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World.
The four-part series executive produced by Chuck D explores the origins of Hip-Hop and how the art form became a vehicle for the voice of Black men and those speaking truth to power. The film features interviews and archival footage from some of the culture’s most influential acts, including Ice-T, Run DMC, MC Lyte, Lupe Fiasco, Grandmaster Caz, Roxanne Shanté, and Melle Mel.
In a new interview with Associated Press, edited for “clarity and bravery,” the Public Enemy emcee said, “we got to recognize the world too” for Hip-Hop to thrive for another 50 years. According to Chuck, the future of the genre lies outside of North America.
“Africa is the future of hip-hop. It’s 54 African nations. Not only are they spitting like crazy, but they’re also braiding languages,” Chuck D explained. “Hip-hop is going to like 3.0 when you talk about Africa. Hip-hop is there. So that’s the sustaining power if you want to pay attention to it.”
Chuck D Says You Can’t Love Hip-Hop Without Loving The People Who Created It
Elsewhere in the interview, Chuck D explained what he wants people to take away from the docuseries.
“I don’t want people to do what they don’t want to do. If you say you love hip-hop, then you should be able to know about what you love. You don’t have to love hip-hop. I used to ask people straight out, “Do you love hip-hop?” They would respond “Oh yeah. I love it.” Then I was ask, “Do you love Black people?” They would say “What’s that got to do with it?” I’m here to tell you that the culture and the music comes out of the people. Sometimes your love of it got to infuse and give something back to the people. That’s the cycle.”
Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World originally aired on PBS. It’s available to stream on its platforms and YouTube with a premium subscription.