Chuck D urges you to believe the hype about independent record stores. The Public Enemy mastermind is the official ambassador for Record Store Day 2014, organizers behind the April 19 event have announced.
Chuck certainly has the credentials for the honor, most recently including Public Enemy’s 2013 induction into the somewhat anachronistically named Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In a statement, he says the pioneering rap group’s founding members were DJs and their weapons were what they found at record stores, “the connection point of listener and the recording.” He takes over from last year’s 2013 vinyl ambassador Jack White, whose predecessors in the role included Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, and Metallica.
Read the hip-hop legend’s full statement below, see where Public Enemy rank on the 125 Best Albums of SPIN’s first 25 years, and check out Public Enemy’s reflections on 20 years of “By the Time I Get to Arizona.”
Over 27 years and 93 countries visited, as a professional lead vocalist of the RAP group Public Enemy, I don’t go 1 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. 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.
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.
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…