Sharing passion for empowerment

SINCE releasing its first single, Public Enemy #1, in 1987, hip-hop giant Public Enemy has been lauded as a revolutionary in the music world.

It is one of only four rap groups to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But co-founder Chuck D explains that the prolific artists aren't interested in basking in their own successes.

"If I could smash our awards into 50,000 pieces and give it out to all our influences, I would," Chuck D said.

"I don't take the trophies for granted, I just try to think about what I'm trying to do next as opposed to what I've done."

The hip-hop outfit has built a formidable reputation in the music industry for lacing its records with politically charged lyrics.

Chuck D's passion for empowerment and enlightenment is as palpable as ever.

"Rap is my military, hip-hop is my religion," he said.

"You've always got to fight for freedom and education."

The Public Enemy front man said corporate and private greed and racism were enduring concerns for the veteran hip-hop group.

"People are born into situations where these issues are still as real as ever," he said.

"Without a sense of history these people can end up repeating the same nonsense of past generations."

Climate change is a cause close to Chuck D's heart.

"Global climate issues are something that can set off conflict wars on a whole bunch of things," he said.

"If things don't improve there will be people and armies motivated to make sure people don't move.

"These things have dire effects."

For a man who has performed about 2000 concerts in more than 80 countries, Chuck D's secret to sustaining his energy levels appears pretty straightforward.

"Vitamins, man, you've got take plenty of vitamins," he said.

"I've got a two-year-old kid to keep up with now, so I can't afford to play around."

Chuck D said his crew want to leave audiences awe-struck after their set at today's Breath of Life festival.

"We've only got a little bit of time on stage so we've got to cram everything in real tight," he said.

"We've been travelling more than 20 years, but we've got to keep performing to make sure these records live on."

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