Canadian Music Week is proud to announce Chuck D of Public Enemy will receive the Social Justice Honours Award, and appear for a keynote interview, at the CMW Music Summit on June 9, 2022 at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre Hotel as part of the 40th Anniversary event. The CMW Conference, Canada’s largest and longest-running industry conference, will take place June 7-10, 2022. Registration is now open.
“Chuck D will receive the Social Justice Honours Award for using every opportunity throughout his career to speak his mind and stand up for what is right,” says Canadian Music Week president Neill Dixon. “Chuck D is a champion and an innovator with the unique ability to identify new platforms to get his message across. We look forward to hosting this living legend as part of our 40th Anniversary conference.”
Leader and founder of legendary group Public Enemy, and part of the supergroup Prophets of Rage, Chuck D is a social activist, author and digital music pioneer. He first rose to acclaim in the 1980s with a string of critically lauded and commercially successful albums that addressed weighty issues about race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence never seen before.
The New York Times has named Public Enemy’s music to their list of the “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century” and in 2005 The Library of Congress included Fear of a Black Planet in a list of 50 recordings worthy of preserving that year in their National Recording Registry. In 2013, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2015, Public Enemy’s “Say It Like It Really Is” provided the powerful backbeat to the trailer for the critically-acclaimed film, Selma, and “Harder Than You Think” was selected for NBC’s official Super Bowl XLIX commercial after being the cornerstone of the 2012 Paralympics campaign (which drove the song into the UK Top 5). When the new National Museum of African American History and Culture began curating its archive, the group was asked to donate iconic items from their history. In 2020, Public Enemy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the GRAMMYs. He released the single “SOTU (STFU)” in June 2020 with Public Enemy and a few weeks later the group opened the 2020 BET Awards with “Fight the Power Remix 2020” featuring guest performances and new lyrics by Nas, Rapsody, Black Thought, YG and Questlove. In August 2020, Public Enemy announced a return to Def Jam, the record label that launched the group’s career, led by the release of “Fight the Power Remix 2020” and followed with the album, “What You Gonna Do When The Grid Goes Down,” on September 25, 2020.
In June 2016, Chuck debuted Prophets of Rage, a new “supergroup” with former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, Cypress Hill’s B-Real and DJ Lord of Public Enemy.
Chuck D is also a visual artist whose work has been shown in galleries nationwide, a best-selling author (including 2017’s 300-page “This Day In Rap and Hip Hop History”), a highly-sought after speaker on the college lecture circuit, has been a prominent member of music industry non-profit organizations MusicCares and Rock The Vote (which honored him with the Patrick Lippert Award in 1996 for his contributions to community service), runs his own record label, SpitSlam, and launched the websites Rapstation.com, HipHopGods.com and SheMovement.com. He has served as national spokesperson for Rock The Vote, the National Urban League and the National Alliance of African American Athletes. In 2018, Chuck was named the Chairman of the Celebrity Board for the forthcoming Universal Hip Hop Museum in New York.
Earlier this year, he curated “Songs That Shook The Planet” for Audible Originals and is currently co-producing a docuseries on the history of hip hop for PBS and BBC.