I finally sat down and spent some time going through the Red Bull Music Academy interview with Public Enemy’s Chuck D from October of 2008, and while it is long (more than 120 minutes!), it’s worth either watching the video or downloading the audio version.

Besides describing his discovery of DJ-ing and providing insight into the early days of hip-hop and the history of P.E., as this was the Red Bull Music Academy, he also delves into what it means to be a modern musician and how to become a successful independent artist, including:

  • The importance of musicians becoming their own multimedia networks
  • Why you should customize an album to your specific needs, regardless of what others are doing
  • Working with your fan community (both in the pre-internet era and in the 21st Century)
  • Not resting on past success

From the interview:

…We’re in a different marketplace now than the ‘90s, so 17 tracks in the digital world can be three albums. Who’s to say one album can’t be seven tracks, one six and the other one four. You put your artwork and concept behind it and you can make a digital release of it. Of course, you might have to put 17 tracks on a CD if you’re making one, if you believe the CD is the format of the future. The CD is the format of now, but blank CDs are the ones that sell most. So get yourself out of the ‘90s way of thinking and develop your own way…In the audiovisual age you should be a person who can do it all…

If you don’t have two hours to spend going watching/listening to the full video, you can also checkout the transcript here.


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(note that the photos used for this post came from Chuck D’s MySpace Page. They will be removed promptly at the owner’s request)
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