Santa Fe, N.M.—November 29, 2011—Santa Fe University of Art and Design will bring the internationally renowned hip-hop group Public Enemy to campus Saturday, April 28, 2012. The daylong event will kick off with a community conversation with frontman and lyricist Chuck D. and producer and bassist Brian Hardgroove and will culminate in a live Public Enemy concert that will be open to the public. The concert will close the university’s first yearlong Artists for Positive Social Change series.
“It’s especially important to give our students direct access to the artists,” explains David Scheinbaum, chair of the Photography Department and the force behind the Artists for Positive Social Change program. “We have asked highly respected artists to talk to our students about what they do and how they do it. The conversations between the artists and the students are the backbone of the program.”
Formed in 1987, Public Enemy is known for hits like “Fight the Power” and albums like Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black and How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? In the early 1990s, the group pioneered the crossover between rap and rock by partnering with thrash metal band Anthrax on “Bring the Noise,” a genre-busting single that paved the way for the rap-metal sound.
Over the past two decades, Public Enemy has continued the conversation about black rights in America and has advocated maintaining hip hop as a musical form that belongs to the people who listen to it and make it, and not the record companies who release and promote it.
“Getting Chuck D involved in this initiative will really make the difference. This is a place where people have real questions and can start a conversation,” said Hardgroove. “Santa Fe University of Art and Design is the only campus I’ve been introduced to that shows an interest in feeding the artistic heart.”
The group is also politically and socially active. It launched the website Public Enemy Africa in January 2011 to encourage creative dialogue among hip-hop and rap artists in African communities. The website offers a forum for posting artist profiles, music, videos and event dates to encourage the expression of regional and community cultural politics and concerns.
“Public Enemy Africa is a digital soundboard and cultural bridge to promote dialogue and, hopefully, to redirect the center of African hip-hop and rap music back to African communities,” explains Chuck D, who is a frequent lecturer and speaker and hosts a regular radio show on WBAI in New York City called “… ANDYOUDON’TSTOP!”
Public Enemy’s mission for positive social change epitomizes the goals of the series. “Chuck D is very serious about art and education,” Scheinbaum says. “Public Enemy is committed to its art and its message, often in the face of adversity. It’s the perfect group to represent our program’s emphasis on positive social change.”
The Artists for Positive Social Change series for the 2011–2012 academic year is focused on the genre of hip hop as a major influence on today’s culture and social fabric, highlighting hip-hop artists who push the boundaries of their medium. Since September, several artists, including Hardgroove and Bukue One, have visited campus to deliver lectures and workshops.
Details about the concert and community conversation will be published early in 2012. For more information about Artists for Positive Social Change, please visit www.santafeuniversity.edu.