Public Enemy, Chuck D, Sunshine Theater, Albuquerque, NM

image for Public Enemy, Chuck D, Sunshine Theater, Albuquerque, NM
Exhibition Label
Born Queens, New York
In the early 1980s, while at Adelphi University on Long Island, Chuck D (Carlton D. Ridenhour) created a tape for the student radio station where he worked (WBAU) to fend off a fellow local MC. The tape was titled Public Enemy #1. Chuck D’s interest in politics and activism formed the basis for the hip-hop group Public Enemy. Joined by fellow student William Drayton (Flavor Flav), they ushered in a new sound to hip-hop. With layered, noisy street sounds and Chuck D’s booming voice and anti-establishment message juxtaposed against Flavor Fav’s comic relief, Public Enemy changed the face of hip-hop. Chuck D remains a constant voice today, writing a song about Hurricane Katrina and appearing before Congress regarding music file sharing.
Since 2000 David Scheinbaum has photographed more than a hundred hip-hop performers, both in concert and backstage.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
© David Scheinbaum
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Chuck D: American\African American
David Scheinbaum, born 1951
Chuck D, born 1 Aug 1960
Chuck D: Male
Chuck D: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician
Gelatin silver print
Image: 31.5 x 47.9 cm (12 3/8 x 18 7/8")
Sheet: 32.8 x 49.2 cm (12 15/16 x 19 3/8")
Mount: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24")
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28")
National Portrait Gallery