Today, August 1, is the birthday of hip-hop pioneer Chuck D, who now turns 58.

The incomparable rapper, author, activist and producer is credited with ushering in a new era of politically and socially conscious rap music in the mid 1980's thanks to his group Public Enemy. Along with fellow members Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, Khari Wynn and DJ Lord, the Long Island by-way-of Queens crew started a movement of eye-opening lyrical content, using their media to push their message. The guys specifically focused on the injustices done in the African American community. Through platinum-selling albums like Yo! Bum Rush the Show, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, and Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black (just to name a few), PE carved their own lane as conscious, militant and woke rappers. Public Enemy became the four rap act to ever become inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Chuck D is still very much engrained in the hip-hop world today. When ATCQ member Phife Dawg passed away in 2016, Chuck D, Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar paid homage to the Queens rapper on a special episode of Q Tip's Abstract Radio. The MC has also been exceeding outspoken during this current presidential election, specifically against Republican nominee Donald Trump, dropping new music about police brutality and as always, showing America its faults through the mirror of music. In 2016, Chuck D and DJ Lord teamed with Cypress Hill's B-Real and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk to form a new group by the name of Prophets of Rage. In 2017, the super group dropped off their eponymous debut album, once again giving Chuck D a platform to speak on the ills of the world.

Happy Birthday Chuck D!

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