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Hot! Chuck D talks Ice Cube, N.W.A, Death of Hip Hop groups, Hip Hop needing Black Leaders + More

Nick Huff Barili of Hard Knock TV, in collaboration with www.GRAMMY.com sits down with the legendary Chuck D for in-depth interview. In part 2, Chuck talks about the death of Hip Hop groups, influence on N.W.A, working with Ice Cube, lack of Blacks in leadership roles in Hip Hop and more. Transcript below:NICK HUFF BARILI I don’t see as many legendary groups in Hip Hop as there used to be.

CHUCK D (OVERLAPPING) You don’t see groups.

NICK HUFF BARILI Why do you think that is?

CHUCK D The biggest difference between then and now is that it was a group effort in the ’80s. The elements were all in conference with each other. Emcee and break dancing, DJ’ing, which was the ruler of the roots and even, graffiti, part of it, art expression. When the recording contracts came about and they recorded four people and then they, like, five people that sound like one, like the Furious Five used to say, well, the problem came into the area of renegotiation.

If something was hot, you had to renegotiate with, like, five people, so that’s not on record company time, and when it came to black music, it was the re-negrotiation or re-niggergotiation when it came to rap, and some of these obstacles of dealing with five to four heads as opposed to one company trying to deal with one became the pattern. It’s easy to cut a deal with one person and just deal with the lawyer. So it’s still a team, but it was a team of others, not the team of makers and creators, and so that, over a long period of time, had sort of, like, been the evolution or the devolution of Hip Hop as far as being the master of its own sphere, you know?

Now, it’s individuals, and people point to individuals. And I’m telling you, it ain’t no one person could do it better than a group that’s wired right, that’s on focus and on point. They might get paid more money, but that’s probably it. Or the, you know, they might get all the exposure. Like, for example, I think Jay-Z and Kanye West, if you took the amount of radio play that they’ve had over the last 20 years, you know, I mean, I think it’s probably 10,000 times has to be 100,000 times anybody had gotten in the ’80s and ’90s. A hundred thousand times. Like, when you hear a record like 16 times a day. These rap records didn’t do that. Nobody made that happen. So therefore, the–all those spoils go to that one situation now. So you have legends, but they’re individual legends. NICK HUFF BARILI I can’t believe it’s been 27 years since It Takes a Nation came out.

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