Hitting its second year, tripTych is the Tennent’s Lager music festival with impossibly good taste. Running 26—28 April in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, it puts established names in new settings and thrilling new names in the spotlight. This issue we talk to three of its biggest stars.
He’s been an MC, DJ, TV reporter, gossip columnist, label boss, and mouthpiece of black radicalism. Now Public Enemy’s CHUCK D is the hip hop bad boy turned lecturer.
\fv’ords: Tim Abrahams
o be honest. it was a stupid question. I am talking to the man who said of lilvis
on light The Power": ‘Mother fuck him and John Waynef and l have just asked
him whether he was given full editorial control when he did news features on liox News. lr‘ortunately. (‘huck l) decides this is amusing. He breaks into a laugh. making a noise that sounds like a quieter version of the insane chuckle of his sidekick from Public linemy. l’lavour lilav. ‘lt wouldn't be no other way.’ he says when he is done.
()l‘ course it wouldn't. Since 197‘) when he .\‘l(‘ed. DJed and promoted parties in Long Island. (‘huck I) has been doing things his way. Never boasting the most dextrous rhyming technique in the world. he still co-produced. co-wrote and rhymed on two examples ol' that rare thing: the classic hip hop album. It 721kv.s'.»l Nation (2/‘,VIil/i())i.s' To [In/(l I '3‘ Buck and Fear ()fA Black Planet were motivated not just by street urgency bttt by black radicalism informed by Islamic teaching.
Blistering with the same lury that Malcolm X had given birth to and Minister Louis liarrakhan had nurtured. (‘huck l) incited his listeners to riot over the Bomb Squad's wall ol‘ aggressive l‘unk. Nothing has ever sounded more angry or indeed more exciting.
Although he never fully admits it. those days are largely behind him. Since Muse Sick .\' Hour .llms xlgv was released in IOU-l. (‘huck I) has released only one Public Enemy album. although another l‘caturing tracks downloaded from his website and remixed by l'ans is on its way. On top ol‘ continuing to use his production skills. however. he’s branched out into writing a book and a regular syndicated hip hop gossip column. running an internet mttsic label. lecturing (he visits around 80 colleges in the US a year) and doing the al‘orementioned commentaries l’or that unexpected champion of free speech. Rupert Murdoch‘s l’ox News.
Musically though. he has decided that the days of a brand new album ever year or so are over. Who. to quote the man himself. stole the soul'.’ ‘All that has happened is that l have branched out into dill‘erent types of media.‘ he says. ‘I would like to say that in one way or another everybody has had to branch out into dil'l’erent media over the last decade.
10 THE LIST " ."