By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
White rappers apparently pose little threat to P.E. In late 90, Chuck helped out Young Black Teenagers, a very white hip-hop group whose claim to fame was its motto that being black is more a state of mind than a skin color. The group's debut album came out on a label run by P.E.'s Bomb Squad production team. Last year P.E. invited Y.B.T. rapper-deejay Kamron to do some scratching for its album Apocalypse 91 . . . the Enemy Strikes Black.
Also on that disc was a remake of "Bring the Noise," featuring more white people. Although it would've been more interesting to redo the song with Palm Springs Mayor Sonny Bono, who, remember, is mentioned in the lyrics, P.E. got Anthrax to back it up … la the Run-DMC/Aerosmith deal. But one nation under a groove this wasn't. It's a tossup whether Anthrax's Scott Ian's duh-okay-George rapping or the band's clunky thrashing was more to blame for ruining this "Bring the Noise."
Even more queer was Chuck D's foray into public displays of affection for white musicians via a different medium: the love letter. A few months back, Chuck penned a paean to Bruce Springsteen for Spin magazine. Although you're more likely to find "Atomic Dog" than "Rosalita" booming on the D family sound system, Chuck did have to admit in the article, "All I got to say is: He's the Boss. He's the Boss--fuck it." A well-documented homophobe, Chuck had nothing to say, however, about Springsteen's habit of kissing his former sax man Clarence Clemons on the lips.
And the group's crossover career moves continue. It recently rocked a British festival that featured major white act Nirvana and a bunch of other lesser-known Caucasians.
Now that the group's out on the road sandwiched between U2 and white warm-up band the Sugarcubes, questions beg to be asked. Can a "Monsters of Hip-Hop and Light-Rock Tour" featuring Public Enemy, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Michael Bolton be far behind? What about capitalizing on that new hip-hop jazz thing? Check it out: Public Enemy, Harry Connick Jr. and Kenny G. Or how about a pay-per-view called, simply, "The Legends," featuring Minnelli, Sinatra and Flavor Flav.
Alas, if only Elvis were still on tour.