Thursday To-Do: Chuck D | Rock Candy

Thursday To-Do: Chuck D

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CHUCK D
6 p.m., M.L. Harris Auditorium, Philander Smith. Free.

When he speaks to what is sure to be a standing-room only crowd at Philander Smith's M.L. Harris Auditorium, Chuck D won't lack for material. The early days — working with Rick Rubin, hanging out with an equally crazy but less profit-minded Flavor Flav, crafting bass-heavy polemics like “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” that've become canonical — would be ripe territory, but something tells me Chuck D isn't a nostalgic. He's more likely to be in culture critic mode. After all, he called himself the Charles Kuralt of hip-hop in an interview with the daily paper. In recent years, he's testified before Congress in support of peer-to-peer online music sharing, narrated a documentary about blood diamonds and told the French newspaper Le Monde that the relationship between a rapper and his label is like that of slave to master. So who knows what strange turns his lecture will take. Wherever it goes, look for the brunt of his talk to focus on rap, race and technology and their interstices.

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