Chuck D

Rapper/Activist/Author Born Carlton Ridenhour, the Roosevelt, Long Island-raised rapper Chuck D is best known as the front man of pioneering rap group Public Enemy. The MC with the booming voice is the lyrical mastermind behind hip hop classics like “Rebel Without a Pause,” “Shut ’Em Down” and “Don’t Believe the Hype.” As an activist, he has been involved in numerous human rights causes. He was also an early supporter of digitally downloadable music, pushing PE to become one of the first rap groups to release MP3-only albums. In 1998, Chuck settled out of court with The Notorious B.I.G.’s estate over B.I.G.’s sampling of his voice in the song “Ten Crack Commandments.” He also co-authored the book of essays Fight the Power.

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