Monday, September 24, 2007

Chuck D., Where Art Thou?

In 1990, nestled in a sheltered private catholic school, I was shaken by Spike Lee. The movie “Do the Right Thing” had just be released, and its soundtrack, led by powerful Public Enemy tracks, exposed me to a world I didn’t really knew existed. Under the tartan uniform and behind the awkward braces, I was perhaps intimidated by the delivery, but the message…the message got to me. It was Chuck D.’s words in such anthems as “Fight The Power” that shook me to the core. I didn’t know or recognized the world he was describing but the fact it existed made me nauseous. Decades later, it is safe to say that Chuck D. was and still is a lyrical prophet, speaking of uncomfortable, embarrassing and damaging truths. Yes, that is a bold title to give to someone but it is well deserved and the thousands who share my appreciation in the genius that is Chuck D, also share my disdain for VH-1’s “Flavour of Love” debacle.

In these Jena 6 times, Chuck D.’s words still sadly ring true and should be used as road maps. I’m chagrined by that and wish we would use Marvin Gaye’s words instead but over 40 years have proven that as beautiful & soothing as they can be, they unfortunately don’t work.

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