Chuck D and The Near Def Experience: Most Of My Heroes Don’t Appear On No Stamps
A solo exhibition featuring artwork by Rapper and Adelphi Alum, Chuck D ’84, ’13 (Hon.).
Adelphi University is proud to present Most Of My Heroes Don’t Appear On No Stamps, a solo exhibition of drawings made by Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, better known as Chuck D, the leader of the hip-hop band Public Enemy. This exhibition comprises 31 portraits representing the artist’s musical peers and precursors. The included musicians showcase an eclectic swath of American musical history including Rap, R&B, Reggae, Rock, Pop and Folk. The exhibition is a celebration of all the artists represented in addition to portraying Chuck D’s diverse group of influences in his own work.
A native of Roosevelt, New York, Chuck D attended Adelphi University from 1978–1984, earning his B.F.A. During his time at Adelphi, the University radio station, WBAU, was becoming a hub for the early expansion of the hip-hop movement. Chuck D worked at WBAU, wrote music and deejayed a program that featured the artists who would later go on to form Public Enemy in 1986.
Public Enemy released its first album 1987, but it was their second album, 1988’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, that made Public Enemy a household name. The album topped the R & B charts, was hailed as a hip-hop masterpiece and went on to sell more than a million copies. The Village Voice voted It Takes a Nation of Millions the best album of the year in its Pazz & Jop poll. Public Enemy has continued to record and tour and, in 2012, it issued two albums, Most of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear on No Stamp and The Evil Empire of Everything. Public Enemy has had three platinum albums, eight gold albums, 12 studio album releases, two compilation albums, 22 singles and five indie albums.
In April 2013, Chuck D, with Public Enemy, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Prior awards and recognitions for Chuck D and Public Enemy include the 2008 TransAfrica Forum Pan-African Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2006 Billboard Founders Award, the Soul Train Music Awards Best Rap Album for Apocalypse ’91…The Enemy Strikes Black and MTV’s Rock the Vote Patrick Lippert Award, which is named for Rock the Vote’s founder, who died in 1993.
Chuck D is a best-selling author and a media commentator. He has served as a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League, and the National Alliance of African American Athletes. He has also appeared in public service announcements for HBO’s campaign for national peace and for the Partnership at Drugfree.org, formerly the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. He is a highly sought-after speaker, encouraging young people, especially those who are or may become the first in their families to attend college, to remember the value of their education and share their learning with their families and communities.
Chuck D currently splits his time between Ventura, California, and Roosevelt, New York, and is married to Gaye Theresa Johnson, Ph.D., who teaches at the University of California at Santa Barbara.