Chuck D: 'Hip-Hop Is Part Of Rock & Roll'

The Public Enemy rapper defended their forthcoming induction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and promises to "tear the damn place down" when they perform at the ceremony.

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Rapper Chuck D has defended Public Enemy's place in the 2013 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony.

Public Enemy officially formed in around 1986 with the help of producer Rick Rubin, and were a huge cultural influence thanks to their politically charged rap. Last week they were confirmed as inductees to the Hall Of Fame alongside the likes of Rush and Heart.

"Hip-hop is a part of rock & roll because it comes from DJ culture," Chuck told Rolling Stone. "DJ culture is the embodiment of all genres and all recorded music, if you actually pay attention to it."

He is grateful to be recognised for Public Enemy's achievements. "I'm very fortunate to be acknowledged by my peers," he says. "I take this very seriously... I know that a hall of fame is very different than an award for being the best of the year. It's a nod to the longevity of our accomplishment."

The induction ceremony on April 18 next year will be one to remember, because Chuck promises to "tear that damn place down."

"People will be shaking their heads like, 'What the f--k is going on?' That's the ability of what I consider probably one of the greatest performing bands in hip-hop history," he said. "It's not bragging, because I don't brag about myself, but my guys are the best in the business."

What do you think of Public Enemy's place in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame? Have you been influenced by their music? Let us know in the comments.

152 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Petey D
    Lots of respect for PE, even though I'm not a fan of the genre. I think there should definately be a place in the HOF for them.
    jrodgers
    Doesn't the HOF has a special category set aside purely for "Rock N Roll Influences"? I think Public Enemy would make more sense to be inducted that way, along with a lot of these other controversial inductions like Donna Summer, Madonna...etc. I think its safe to say these acts do not fall within the Rock genre, but their resulting influence from within the rock genre is completely obvious. The HOF could have saved themselves the majority of its credibility if it simply did a better job keeping a distinction between these 2 types of inductions= 1. Rock N Roll Acts 2. Rock N Roll Influences
    Jozef23
    YES!!!!! Chuck D you are a legend along with the rest of Public Enemy. If a band plays rock music with rapping over the top it sure as hell deserves to be called Rock n Roll. Unless Beastie Boys and RATM aren't rock either.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    RATM and beastie boys are rock since they include guitar bass and drums that they play, not sample.
    Gridlock749
    basically, this, a whole big argument over nothing and here is the only thing that matters, do they play instruments
    SynVanSambora
    Not bashing Public Enemy, but there are several bands that could have been inducted in their place like Iron Maiden or Judas Priest that are actually rock musicians. But, at the end of the day, I'm just glad Rush is finally getting inducted.
    robo37
    Rap is the same as singing just without as much creativity.
    LightxGrenade
    No it isn't. Because it's only your spoken voice you have to be much more creative. A talented singer can take one average sentence and turn it into a great line with their memorable voice. A rapper has to weave a story full of double entendres and word play in order to get your attention. At least that's what good rappers and hip-hop artists do.
    MrDo0m
    Some rappers are terrible, but contrary to popular UG belief, some are actually really talented.
    iommi600
    I seriously stopped trying to explain that rappers can have talent around here. You mention a rap artist, then 5 minutes later someone appears and says he's never gonna be as good as Rush. *sigh*
    israels_son
    Some hip hop is good. Some is bad. Just like rock music. What a surprise.
    nboyjn
    exactly. i really hate it when people say that rap sucks and then cite shit like Nikki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Soulja Boy etc as if they are the embodiment of rap music. Its the equivalent of saying "ive listened to Nickelback, Good Charlotte and The All American Rejects and i can honestly say that rock music is terrible"
    CoolMcAwesome
    B-Boys are one of my all time fav bands, but they aren't rock. They have some PUNK songs, many of which I really like. This does not make them a rock band. Public Enemy isn't a rock band, plain and simple.
    minieme007
    I agree that it is, but this reasoning: "Hip-hop is a part of rock & roll because it comes from DJ culture" "DJ culture is the embodiment of all genres and all recorded music, if you actually pay attention to it." Is stupid
    AmirT
    Hiphop is not that "bling bling" as people think. It's as if Tokio Hotel would be a representation of all Rock-music. Hiphop is nice!
    iommi600
    The "bling bling" thing cracked me up. Anyway, Chuck is simply a myth. One of the most recognizable and skilled rappers of all time.
    Warpath23
    I saw Public Enemy perform about two weeks ago, and the DJ that had been spinning for all the other acts left when they came on, and they brought out a guitarist, bassist, and drummer. There's a lot of hip hop that still works on the basis and framework of rock. They just happen to rap over the music instead of singing.
    Chronologo
    That's the oldschool rap, the guys that kept it real. Nowadays is full of awful mainstream MTV show "hosts" who make rap look like shit. There hasn't be a genre where the "sellout" argument fit more than in rap. PS: FINALLY EDIT BUTTON, THANKS UG!
    bifteksupernova
    two weeks ago everyone was up in arms about public enemy even being nominated, now everyones congratulating them saying they've earned their spot.
    Madferit420
    If they want to be part of any hall of fame, create a Hip Hop Hall of Fame. Im not dissing them in the least bit but they're not rock and roll. the rock and roll hall of fame is a joke anyway, but the guitar and instruments have been synonomous with rock and roll since its intecption. and thats just something they dont use
    JelloCrust
    Actually, have you heard of the S1Ws? No, clearly you haven't, because it would seem most people here refuse to listen to hip-hop. The S1Ws are PE's live band, headed by Professor Griff, who returned to the group recently after going to Mecca and realizing his antisemitism was incredibly stupid and he changed himself. . . the whole, he's not a jerk anymore thing was a bit tangential, but anyway, the point is Public Enemy has a band, so even if your argument was valid, it would not be valid, just as with the Roots, Naz, and many other hip-hop groups. In fact, the Roots have who I believe may be the best guitarist ever. Bullya-kacha!
    bifteksupernova
    the roots are amazing, anyone saying rap has no instrumental value needs to look harder. public enemy, the roots, mos def, k-os and i believe even a tribe called quest all record and tour with a live band. lots of rap and hip hop acts draw influence from many different genres, including rock. and like many people are saying, theres definitely groups in the hall that are much less rock and roll than public enemy.
    Alcofuel
    Hip Hop has influenced rock though. I'm not talking about in the sense of "This band made me want to play music" either. It has actually influenced subgenres of rock musically. Nu Metal comes to mind. There are also songs from bands like Incubus (See: Pardon Me) that take influence from hip hop.
    rgt42dx
    I love rap and hip hop to the heart but how would the hip hop community feel if Aerosmith is inducted into a Hip Hop Hall of Fame for letting Run DMC remix "Walk This Way"? Shit just doesn't make any sense, you know.
    Iommianity
    Well, the reception in this thread sure surprised the hell out of me. Usually they're chalk full of people who thought the Hall of Fame had any integrity to ruin in the first place.
    xplosive59
    Chuck D is a legend and one of the best rappers out there even now, Public Enemy's first 4 albums are all classics and that is reason enough that they should be in the HOF, not to mention that they are one of the most influential groups of all time.
    captkarl
    I think just the name "Public Enemy" is pretty rock and roll. It's rebellion, it's saying **** the system, and that's pretty much the foundation of early rock from elvis shaking his hips on TV, to the Who smashing their guitars. PE might be a hip-hop act, but their overall attitude is definitely rock at its essence
    Gridlock749
    so if a band made good music, but wasn't saying **** the system they'd have no place in the hall of fame?
    henboyrules
    You know what the sad thing is...Public Enemy beat out real rock bands like KISS and Deep Purple for this...but it is something I expect from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...such a corrupt institution.
    dsteff
    Letting hip hop artists into the rock and roll hall of fame is like letting system of a down into the hip hop hall of fame (if there is one) because they can sing quite fast, rhyme, and tell a story while doin the previous two on multiple occasions within their music, and its stupid because that will never happen, so why should a hip hop artist be inducted into a hall of fame it does not belong in.