Today, August 1, is the birthday of Long Island rapper and Public Enemy member Professor Griff. The Professor turns 58.

Richard Griffin, better known to the hip-hop world as Professor Griff, is a decorated MC, spoken word poet, lecturer and activist. He is one of the original members of Long Island crew Public Enemy, which is created with using hip-hop as a politically and socially conscious art form to talk about America's mistreatment of the Black community. Along with fellow members Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Khari Wynn and DJ Lord, the Long Island by-way-of Queens crew started a movement with their lyrical content, using their media to push their message. Their albums Yo! Bum Rush the Show, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Fear of a Black Planet, Apocalypse 91... The Enemy Strikes Black (to name a few) are considered monuments in political hip-hop to this day. In 2013, Public Enemy became the four rap act to ever be inducted of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And even though he's a vet in the game, Griff still remains an active figure in hip-hop. In light of recent and ongoing deaths of Black people at the hands of police officers, Professor Griff was one of the first members of the rap world to respond. Professor was especially outspoken earlier last year when Kanye West went to meet with President Donald Trump, saying that Trump should meet "real Black people."

Happy Birthday Professor Griff!

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