Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Rare 1990 Chuck D Interview with DJ Chuck Chillout on "WDEF"

Posted by Billyjam, December 30, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

For this week's installment of the Amoeblog's Hip Hop History Tuesdays I rewind the clock back 24 years  to December 1990 when Def Jam mailed out to journalists, DJs, and other media folk on their press promo list a cool complimentary "Merry Christmas" mixtape by DJ Chuck Chillout that was supposedly the NYC radio station "WDEF" and its show "The Rush Hour." But while both the radio show and the radio station were imaginary the cassette and all the interviews on it, including EPMD, BWP, and Pubic Enemy's Chuck D (featured here), were all very real and conducted as if on the air live by the recording artist/radio DJ who was on KISS FM at the time.

The Rush Hour
name referred to the Russell Simmons overseen artists - most on Def Jam - that were showcased on the mixtape that was a nice balance of artist interviews and music - a lot of two turntable beat juggle routines. Out of all the tape's interviews the interview with Chuck D (on behalf of Public Enemy)  was the best one and hence, when I uncovered this long lost tape in past week, decided to upload it to YouTube to feature here on the Amoeblog Hip-Hop History feature. Note that the actual Chuck Chillout/Chuck D interview would have been recorded at the end of Summer/ start of Fall 1990 - right after PE got off tour in support of their then current album Fear Of A Black Planet (their third studio album that was released on May 10th, 1990).

In the engaging interview Chuck D and Chuck Chillout, who incidentally these days does a show on the Chuck D overseen RapStation, begin by noting how back in the day people would often confuse the two Chucks of hip-hop. Then the PE frontman talks about his and musical partner Hank Shocklee's formative years as hip-hop promoters in Long Island and Queens when they'd put up flyers on street poles to promote shows and how they'd get artists such as the then teen rap star LL Cool J to come do shows. Then Chuck D talks about the 1990 Public Enemy tours when fellow tour artists included Kid 'N Play, Heavy D & The Boyz, Queen Latifah, Chill Rob G, Digital Underground, Kwame, and Ice Cube.

On the subject of the latter artist - they discuss his then recent show ("with a hood and a bat") at the Apollo and the production of the former N.W.A. artist's debut solo album (AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted). That led to Chuck D addressing the East vs West rap feud, pointing a finger at the media creating it ("a lot of people were coming from the outside"). It's a great six minute interview and well worth checking out - below. Additionally, if you have not yet peeped it, be sure to check out the Chuck D WIMB? video (Amoeba What's In My Bag? series).

Relevant Tags

Sister Souljah (2), The Rush Hour (1), Wdef (1), Hip-hop History Amoeblog (33), Hip-hop History Tuesdays (44), Hip-hop History (63), Billy Jam (40), Hip Hop (94), Ice Cube (30), Rap (134), Public Enemy (44), Queen Latifah (6), Political Rap (4), Chuck Chillout (1), Terminator X (2)