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Monday, April 15, 2019
7:00 p.m.


Performing Arts Center, Concert Hall

Knowledge is Power: Inside the Artist’s Studio with Chuck D

1989, the number, another summer
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart ’cause I know you got soul

With those lyrics, rapper Chuck D ’84, ’13 (Hon.) and his group Public Enemy put their mark on popular music. With powerful lyrics and a driving, danceable beat, “Fight the Power” filled the airwaves and played over the opening credits of Spike Lee’s landmark film Do the Right Thing

Along with rappers like Erik B. and Rakim, Talib Kweli, and KRS-One, Chuck believed that rap could be a means of education and a force for change. Thirty years later, he returns to his alma mater for an intimate conversation on knowledge, power and the history of hip-hop with University Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Perry Greene, Ph.D. 

Get tickets through the box office: $5 for all ticket holders and FREE of charge for students.

Doors open at 6:30 PM

» Get Tickets

While earning his B.F.A., Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, known to the world as Chuck D, hosted a hip-hop show on Long Island’s WLIR, was a member of Adelphi’s student radio station WBAU and did a comic strip for Adelphi’s student paper The Delphian. Within a couple of years, he was signed to Def Jam Recordings on the strength of a demo for the track “Public Enemy Number One.” 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and five-time Grammy nominee is the author of two critically acclaimed books, and is a political activist, publisher, radio host and producer. Chuck D has been featured on and/or interviewed in over 50 documentaries on music, technology, politics and race; he has appeared in numerous public service announcements for national peace and the Partnership for a Drug Free America. He has also been a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League, Americans for the Arts Council, and the National Alliance for African American Athletes.

For the past five years, he has hosted “On the Real/Off the Record” for Air America, on which some of the most important musical and political figures of our time have been interviewed. Chuck D continues to make music and to write prolifically on technology, politics, rap and soul music, and race in the US. His recent book, This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History, was released in 2017. There are few artists who possess such sophisticated understandings of the music business, entertainment industry and racial politics in America, and few speakers who can command an audience like Chuck D.

» Read more about Chuck D

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Office of Special Events
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