Interview: Chuck D of Public Enemy is Still Shaking Up the Music Industry – Yahoo! Voices – voices.yahoo.com
Public Enemy released a bookend album set titled “Most Of My Heroes STILL Don’t Appear on No Stamp” and “The Evil Empire Of Everything” this summer. This is the group’s first release in five years and reflects their continued leadership within the hip hop community as they embrace new technology and digital music production techniques.
I was able to have a long conversation with Public Enemy’s founder and leader Chuck D, and we discussed some of the challenges and changes within the music industry at large. Chuck D was very open about his feelings on several issues facing new artists as well as the ability to create quality projects with input from various locations at the same time via remote applications.
Below are some highlights of our nearly hour-long conversation.
A key point for Chuck D is that artists are no longer bound by the traditional one release every 18 months which had been the industry standard prior to this new age. According to Chuck, Public Enemy’s dive into the digital music creation arena should come as no surprise to the music industry. Public Enemy was one of the first groups release their music on MP3, begin a blog and working with interactive recording by inviting fans so submit remixes to one of their earlier albums “Revolverlution.”
What are some of the most notable changes in the new age of music creation?
Chuck D told me that one of the biggest changes is the decline of the long play album in exchange for singles. He told me he feels as though the change from album format to singles began with the first download via the internet. Some of the major players in the changeover have been ringtones and mixtapes which can create a viral buzz for the artist and bring new music to the masses on a giant scale.
“This is a chance to make a powerful artistic statement that reflects on the release method as much as the music within,” Chuck observed. “No charts, no counts, no pressure, just create, bomb and step back.” declares Chuck in the press release surrounding the new Public Enemy projects.
How are the new projects being received?
Chuck indicated he was very happy with response to these new projects. Both the media and fans of Public Enemy are welcoming the new era of creativity from the group.
Although the two albums are different musically, Chuck indicated they were created in “…the same space and time,” and are similar to fraternal twins. They are not identical yet encompass the creative ideas of the “parents” he explained.
Embracing the new digital music era on another level, Chuck D and his partner Gary G-Wiz created a digital only distribution imprint, SPITdigital. Both of Public Enemy’s newest projects will be pushed via this label Chuck indicated. He also said the mission of the company is to provide resources, guidance and training to independent artists in order to give them tools to understand and navigate through the new music industry. The label will also provide digital distribution for select independent artists.
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