Hip-Hop icon Chuck D is letting it be known that injustice, oppression and the establishment are not the only things he’s a Public Enemy to—he’s also a soldier in the fight against colorectal cancer.
Serving as an advisory board member of Hip Hop Public Health—”an organization dedicated to building health equity through the transformative power of music, art and science,” according to a press statement—Chuck D has joined forces with Stand Up To Cancer® to create a “health literacy initiative” by releasing a new song and animated video about the importance of colorectal cancer screening featuring and produced by the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and PE frontman himself.
“There’s been an alarming rate of deaths, premature deaths between 35 and 50 to the last seven, eight to 10 years of now, you see a lot of Black celebrities,” Chuck told The Grio in a recent interview. “You see in a lot of black celebrities in that age category die in hip hop…because a lot of different things that we do. So I thought I’d be part of a situation that could counter that.”
Chuck can be heard in the video spitting bars about the importance of eating healthy and the fact that, like all things health and disease-related in America, Black and Hispanic communities are disproportionally vulnerable to what the press release described as “the second most common cause of cancer death among American men and women combined.”
During his interview with The Grio, Chuck also spoke on the pandemic and all the misinformation that has surrounded it.
“So in a nutshell, if you don’t understand the importance of educating yourself in this world that’s coming at you, especially a person under scrutiny and of color, you’re going to lean yourself into the conspiracy theories because conspiracy theorists seem like they make a lot of sense when you’re not thorough,” he said. “People will question the vaccine, which is good to do, you know. You need to question anything before [putting it in] your body, but you need the question the Hennessy and Popeyes chicken sandwiches too, especially if you taking them sh**s every day, you know? You don’t know what the f**k is in it. So, all you know is it tastes good.“
It would also be nice if people scrutinized their own conspiracy theories and the mostly-YouTube-based “research” they claim to do as much as they scrutinize medical information that is backed by scientific consensus—but that’s another post for another day.
With the number of influential rap artists who have used their massive platforms to aid the spread of medical misinformation during an ongoing global pandemic, it’s dope to see Hip Hop legends like Chuck D fight on the side of public health and awareness.