That a foreigner comes and slaps you with a truth hidden in your own country is undoubtedly a sign that something important is happening, and if that foreigner is an unorthodox intellectual, trained in the streets of Queens, New York, and singer of one of the pioneer and most influential groups of rap music.
All this is atypical, especially for rappers who are followed by a terrible reputation, founder and leader of the Public Enemy group. He was always an activist and tried to use his voice for good. He changed the role of hip hop culture in the construction of afro identity and the fight against racism but he also offered a new kind of sound system.
His songs and influence is something that sets him apart from everyone else, and what makes him iconic even today.
In today’s text we are going to talk about his net worth, his early years and his career path. This famous rapper has been a great influence in the musical industry, so we can learn a lot about him by learning about his early years.
Carlton Douglas Ridenhour was born on August 1st 1960 in Queens New York. He spent his childhood on the streets of New York, where he used music as his tool to avoid the difficult rules of the street. He graduated from the Roosevelt Junior Senior High School. He also went to the Adelphi University for graphic design. During his studies, he met Flavor Flav or William Drayton, who later became a member of the group Public enemy together with Chuck D.
He graduated from the Adelphi University and in 2013 he received an honorary doctorate. Before he started with music, he worked as a graphic designer and designed flyers for local radio stations.
The band was formed in New York, United States. African-American activist Chuck D, a graphic design student, was part of Spectrum City; a team of DJs from Adelphi University, where Chuck studied, the intention was to communicate his ideas through rap to especially convey messages of pride, self-defense and cultural affirmation to the African-American community.
This group was directed by Hank Schoklee. The young student divided his time between the university and his nightly events, where he was very popular, he became so good that he managed to have a program on the radio station of the university called WBAU, directed by Bill Stephney.
Chuck D collaborated with Flavor Flav in a film as a reference to the persecution he claimed to suffer from the local rap scene. Public Enemy managed to sign with the record label Def Jam Records, thanks to a freestyle of Chuck D that the producer Rick Rubin listened in a model that Stephney facilitated to him
The controversial name that young people chose for their group was a response to racist white society. The name refers to the way they cataloged the African-American community. This name was chosen by Carlton Ridenhour better known as Chuck D., one of the founding members of the group, after a while they were considered the most radical group of the entire American rap scene.
They broke with the idea of making commercial music and returned to the roots of rap, the voice of protest of the black population. This does not mean that the Public Enemy have not embraced success and fame.
The group always defended and promoted their critical sense in the social and political field, and with the same passion that their fans wrote they bought their albums, with a single from 1986 the group began selling 300 copies in a few days. In their lyrics they have come to mix religious themes and even Marxist concepts. The Public Enemy have built a radical group image against the most commercial rappers: MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice.
The previous thing they have demonstrated it in their controversial letters or in their freestyles, in some occasion they generated stir with the Jewish American community. On the other hand, the Public Enemy have participated in the soundtracks of films inserted in the wave of the new American “black cinema”. They have participated with songs like Do the right thing of Spike Lee.
The way to do it, following the ideals of the founder of this organization, Richard Griffin, is the organization, the adoption of a paramilitary structure, the deepening of the study of religion and, naturally, finding new forms of expression and communication.
For Chuck D., rap was a communication tool. This young man went from rapping on Fridays on Bronx streets to being popular throughout Manhattan. Little by little, the Public Enemy grew in number and strength. The entry of Flavor Flav was important, is recognized by huge clock hanging from the neck, says he uses it to remind people that at any time can start the revolution.
By 1984 Public Enemy concerts were the most violent. They made use of mixed sounds, sophisticated samplers, electronic drums and the scratching of the discs.
For 1987 the young African-American rappers published their first album called Yo! Burn rush the show, which won a great sales success. But definitely, it was his second album that dedicated to the group called it takes a nation of millions to hold us back, the public and the critics applauded this musical work. Many critics assured that this album surpassed all the barriers and opened the doors to something innovative, the Public Enemy managed that the rap was considered a true art and they gave him the necessary value.
After the controversy between Professor Griff and the American Jewish community, the Public Enemy had to make the decision to remove him from the group. Later, and overcome the crisis and the scandal, the young people released their third album, entitled Fear of a black planet; the march of the public enemy continued.
In 1991 they managed to launch a new one that turned out to be a success, a much acclaimed work: Apocalypse 91 … The enemy strikes black. The following year, they celebrated 10 years of trajectory a, Public Enemy released their album Greatess Missess, this included several remixes of the previous songs, and six new songs.
In 1994 the group released an album that held a big place in the hearts of fans but commercially it was not the same, it is Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age. This new work Chuck D incredibly improved his voice, varying from a melodic song to a fast rap, the participation of Flavor Flav was also a great contribution.
The rappers were inactive for four years, and finally they released the soundtrack of the movie called He Got Game. In 1999, they released a song called “There’s a Poison Goin On …”. The change in this album is that the Public Enemy forgot the extensive verses of rap and went to a dark sound. In fact it had a slight reception.
After a new time unnoticed, Terminator X retired from the group, and in his replacement came Dj Lord. In short, Professor Griff returned. They released in 2002, to commemorate its 20 years of artistic life, the album Revolverlution.
He had little news. After three years, rappers launched New Whirl Odor, they called it “the best in history”, but his followers said otherwise. For many Public Enemy began to be seen as a legendary rap group. Against these statements launched in 2007 the last album: How You Sell Soul to Souless People Who Sold Their Soul.
Chuck D’s net worth is estimated at around 18$ million and since the rapper has been inactive for a while, this net worth will probably stay around this amount for the future, unless he starts a new business.
There aren’t many information about Chuck D’s personal life, but we do know he is a pescetarian. He also likes sharing photos on his social media, to the loving fans of the group Public Enemy who are still very active. He is also very active politically and tries to use his celebrity status for good, like he always did.
He received an honorary doctorate from Adelphi University in 2013. The members of the group are still in good relations, even though they are no longer together as a group.
Full name: Carlton Douglas Ridenhour
Date of birth: August 1, 1960
Birthplace: Queens, New York City, New York, U.S.
Profession: DJ, Rapper, Publisher, Activist
Height: 1.75 m
Net Worth: $18 million