CHUCK D Biography - Musicians


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Name: Carlton Douglas Ridenhour                                                     
Also known as Mista Chuck, Chucky D                                                 
Born: 1 August 1960 Roosevelt, New York, New York                                   
Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (born August 1, 1960), better known by his stage name     
Chuck D, is an American rapper, composer, actor, author, radio personality and     
producer. He is known as the frontman of hip-hop group Public Enemy, as well as     
for his solo work and political commentary.                                         
Ridenhour was born in Roosevelt, Long Island. After graduating from Roosevelt       
Junior-Senior High School, he went to Adelphi University in Long Island,           
graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in Graphic Design.                       
Upon hearing Ridenhour's demo track "Public Enemy Number One", fledgling           
producer/mogul Rick Rubin insisted on signing him to his Def Jam label.             
However, Ridenhour viewed the music business as a step down from the design job     
he had at the time. Rubin would continue calling, however, to the point where       
Ridenhour would have his girlfriend answer the phone as not to have to deal with   
him. Eventually, Ridenhour relented, insisting to Rubin that he also sign his       
friend William "Flavor Flav" Drayton, explaining to Rubin, "I don't know what he   
does, but he adds something".                                                       
As the lyricist and main vocalist of Public Enemy, Ridenhour was the focal point   
of the group. Chronologically, their major label albums were: Yo! Bum Rush the     
Show 1987, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 1988, Fear of a Black     
Planet 1990, Apocalypse 91...The Enemy Strikes Black 1991, Greatest Misses 1992,   
and Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age 1994. They also released a full length album         
soundtrack for the film He Got Game in 1998. Ridenhour also contributed (as         
Chuck D) to several episodes of the PBS documentary series The Blues. He has       
appeared as a feature artist on many other songs and albums, having collaborated   
with artists such as Janet Jackson, Kool Moe Dee, The Dope Poet Society, Run-DMC,   
Ice Cube and many others. In 1990, he appeared in Sonic Youth's "Kool Thing". In   
1993, he executively produced Got 'Em Running Scared, an album by Ichiban           
Records group "Chief Groovy Loo and the Chosen Tribe".                             
In 1996, Ridenhour released Autobiography Of Mistachuck on Mercury Records. In     
November 1998, he settled out of court with Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G"       
Wallace's estate over the latter's sampling of his voice in the song "Ten Crack     
Commandments". The specific sampling is Ridenhour counting off the numbers one     
to nine on the track "Shut Em Down".                                               
In September 1999, he launched a multi-format "supersite" on the web site   A home for the vast global hip hop community, the site boasts a     
TV and radio station with original programming, many of hip hop's most prominent   
DJs, celebrity interviews, free MP3 downloads (the first was contributed by         
multi-platinum rapper Coolio), downloadable ringtones by ToneThis, social           
commentary, current events, and regular features on turning rap careers into a     
viable living. Since 2000, he has been one of the most vocal supporters of         
Internet music file sharing in the music industry.                                 
He loaned his voice to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as DJ Forth Right MC for       
the radio station Playback FM.                                                     
He appeared with Vanilla Ice on the track "Elvis Killed Kennedy", off the latter's 
2001 album Bi-Polar.                                                               
He appeared with Henry Rollins in a cover of Black Flag's "Rise Above" for the     
album Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three.