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B.I.R. Column Of Fame
Man of Steel... Wood... and Mud: Bear Grylls
Rock Legend: Tom Morello

League Gods: The Emperor and Alfie

Str-8 Shoota: Malcolm X

Str-8 Shoota: Zack de la Rocha

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Comrade Hillary

Friday, August 01, 2008

Happy Birthday Chuck D 

Today is the birthday of my namesake Chuck D, the hard rhymer, leader of Public Enemy.

Chuck D is the godfather of black consciousness in rap music. He brought uncompromising politically charged lyrics to the rap world, changing it from its house-partying nonsense of a musical format to the valid mode of social expression for the black urban underclass in the US. He carries on the work of the man whose face graces our BIR pages, the 'str-8 shoota' Malcolm X.

My life changed after I first heard his voice raging out on the 'Burn Hollywood Burn' single at an impressionable age. Public Enemy's second album, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, remains my all-time favourite album, due largely to the intensity of Chuck D's efforts to raise my consciousness. Well, my consciousness was raised and stays raised, and my debt to ChuckD remains.

Happy Birthday Chuck D, most of my heroes still don't appear on no stamp.

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