Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Chuck D in the Rubber City
Submitted by DerekArnold on Thu, 05/24/2007 - 13:21.
After leaving Cleveland last night, I high-tailed it to the Akron-Summit County Public Library's well-renovated Main Branch to hear Chuck D speak about Race, Rap and Reality.
Consistent with his desire to communicate with the people and not at them, he referred to his hour-plus engagement as a conversation.
His main themes "Race, Rap and Reality" were predicated on three things: geography, history and time. He talked about how we are often disconnected and become prey to predatory forces in our society (crass commercialism and violence) by not being students of history. We also limit ourselves due to geography from connecting with people with whom we could otherwise relate. He also stated that mastering time is futile. We can manage time but that's as close as we are going to get.
He talked about "Dumb Anus"..excuse me, Don Imus and talked about how the lack of historical knowledge of hip-hop allows for those who market hip-hop to manipulate it into whatever they want it to be as opposed to keeping it true to the long spirit of expression of Africans and African-Americans. Because of this lack of historical context, the powers that be are attempting to rewrite what "black" means so they can build legions of consumers, black and white.
On a lighter note, he addressed some of the antics of one of his partners, Flavor Flav. As PE fans know, Flavor Flav is the godfather of hip-hop hype men. His often zany exploits are often all that some people can see. Chuck said Flav is family and he was as he has always been...some of the other things (the house, the manservant, etc.) weren't.
Afterwards, he signed books and chatted with the audience and that's when I got to meet him. He's a really cool guy. We talked about him and his show on XM and Air America as well. I have enclosed a picture.
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