Public Enemy hip hop sensation Chuck D stops by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus at SXSW 2013 to talk about being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, his Evil vs Heroes instrumental album, and the new digital label for independent artists, SpitDigital.
"I think it's a raising of the bar of hip hop. It's a good standard to have set," he says of his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. "It's not done for us. It's kind of done for the genre."
His latest album, "Evil vs Heroes" is an instrumental version of two albums Public Enemy released last year on their aggregator site, SpitDigital.com. "We encourage artists to have their own labels," he says. "We're making a statement that digital music has a long tale that can be enjoyed."
He adds, "The distance between cutting a record, recording it, mastering, and releasing to the fans is a lot more immediate [...] It's a good space to be in."
Chuck D also expresses that the state of hip hop is exploding internationally. "I think the best emcees on the planet are from that gigantic continent of Africa," he says, pointing to the advantages of incorporating different languages and cultures into the genre. "It's bigger than the boardroom and corporation, mainstream point of view."
Speaking of music distribution, Chuck D is also participating on a SXSW panel about Alex Winter's "Downloaded" documentary about the rise and fall of Napster under Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning. "The Napster of today is SpitDigital," he asserts.
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