Public Enemy’s Chuck D Reveals Why He Never Dissed His Fellow Rappers

Chuck D

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend also talked about why people praising street lyrics as “the best” was “b####### to his blackness.”

Chuck D is arguably the most revolutionary voice Hip-Hop has ever witnessed. From Fear of a Black Planet to It Takes a Nation of Millions…to Hold Us Back, Public Enemy defined what it meant to be Black in modern America, beginning in the 1980s. Decades later, Chuck is still a cultural leader and continues to challenge the system.

More recently, Chuck D made some comments on Twitter (X) that both highlighted his hardworking nature and reason for not rapping about street life like so many of his peers.

“Some stupid daft mfucker tried to make me feel ashamed about my wage,” he wrote. “laughed. Told this cat I had 17 jobs from 1977-1986. From cleaning warehouses, moving furniture, changing tires, loading full trucks of mailbags etc. Minimum wage 1977 $2.30 & went to school 6 years to get a 4 year degree.

“I dug working as a young dude opposed to doing nothing and street sht. It NEVER appealed to me. At a young age and I knew I wasn’t gonna be doing that level forever. So at 26 in 1986 I knew everything from that point was ARTainable on my own terms. You must design your LiFE.”

He continued, “I rePEat i was never moved by STREET sht in real time as it was happening in the 80s . 90s 2000s . I wasn’t a kid. Saw that bulsht coming. The fact that people praised street lyrics as the best was bulsht to my blackness. I never dissed my fellow rappers because it was what some only claimed to know. But every damn body? Not. To this day it’s the most attractive deal getter in Hollywood.. our worst nightmare stories and it goes downhill from there. About US.”

Chuck D also revealed he wrote Public Enemy’s debut album, Yo! Bum Rush The Show, while working a blue collar job.

“There is no laughable JOB,” he added. “It ain’t a friendship. You audition for the job you interview for simple as that . They tell you what you will get paid in exchange for the tasks at hand. You can quit. If you work the task and they DONT pay you then its a serious problem. On them. I knew every job I went for.

“I knew I could not cook somebody else’s food so I didn’t interview for those. Factory and delivery jobs were more for me. I wrote Yo Bum Rush The Show delivering goods across Long Island in 1985.”

Public Enemy formed in 1985 and released Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987 via Def Jam Recordings, setting the stage for the group’s groundbreaking 1988 album, It Takes a Nation of Millions… to Hold Us Back. The album, featuring hits like “Bring the Noise” and “Don’t Believe the Hype,” cemented Public Enemy’s status as a powerful voice against racial injustice and systemic inequality. Chuck D’s commanding presence and insightful commentary have not only influenced the Hip-Hop genre but have also made him a significant figure in the broader cultural and political landscape.

Beyond his work with Public Enemy, Chuck D has also pursued multiple solo endeavors, erected his own network RAPstation, collaborated with other artists and written books. His contributions to music and activism have earned him numerous accolades, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Chuck D continues to be a vocal advocate for social change, using his platform to address issues such as racism, police brutality and the importance of voting and political engagement.