Rapper, activist, radio host and Rock And Roll Hall of Fame member Chuck D will serve as Record Store Day’s 2014 Ambassador.
The annual event, which celebrates the culture of independent record stores and the joy of collecting records, is marking its seventh year. This year’s Record Store Day is April 19; to learn more about Record Store Day, visit www.recordstoreday.com.
“Over 27 years and 93 countries visited, as a professional lead vocalist of the rap group Public Enemy, I don’t go one single day without emphasizing that the genre of hip-hop is spawned from DJ culture. The founding members of Public Enemy were, and still are, DJs,” he said. “The tool and fuel for DJs has forever been recordings. And where these recordings have long connected, with pros and fans alike, have simply been the record store, the connection point of listener and the recording.”
As leader and co-founder of legendary rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D — aka Carlton Ridenhour— redefined rap music and hip-hop culture. His lyrics addressed issues about race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence. At the close of 1999, The New York Times named Public Enemy’s “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” to their list of the “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century.” In May 2005, the Library of Congress included “Fear of a Black Planet” in a list of 50 recordings worthy of preserving in the National Recording Registry, and most auspiciously, last year, Public Enemy were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Over the course of Public Enemy’s nearly three-decade career, the group has performed more than 2,000 concerts to fans in 80 countries over the course of 78 tours. Chuck D is quick to give credit to the role record stores play for musicians.
“The record store made musicians listen beyond themselves. It both complemented and supplemented the radio, in fact the best radio stations in the past followed the vibe of the record stores of their regions, thus growing and nurturing each other. The fans and listener had everything to gain, and if they wanted to get into making music, the Record Store turned into their first school and sonic passport out,” he said. “In this age where industry has threaded the music sound with virtual sight and story I am honored to be called upon to be Record Store Day Ambassador of 2014. With the masses, neck bent into their smartphones, let all of us music lovers GPS our way into a reality that is the record store. It’s worth a great try, let’s do this…”