Legendary rapper Chuck D has come out in support of suspended Recording Academy president and CEO Deborah Dugan.
Just prior to the 2020 Grammy Awards, the Academy’s board of trustees decided to put Dugan on administrative leave because of a “formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.” This has angered the former frontman of Public Enemy, who issued a statement on the matter.
He blasted, “As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up. Same old bullshit. They want to keep it status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their fuckery.”
He went on to say, “I’m not surprised that Deborah Dugan is out. I am appalled because it reeks of the same old jive, a New Whirl Odor that considers the masses simply as ‘them asses.’”
Interestingly, the rapper is attacking the organization only months prior to receiving a lifetime achievement award from it.
Though this isn’t the first time that Chuck D has criticized the Recording Academy. In 1989, he and the rest of Public Enemy boycotted the Grammy Awards because, at that time, the Academy had not yet recognized hip hop as a specific genre of popular music.
The band was even feuding a bit with the organization over the lifetime achievement award. The academy at first did not want to honor DJ Lord, who joined the group in the late 1990s.
In regards to this feud, the rapper says, “We had to haggle, to educate, to justify why a core member of our group for the past 22 years, DJ Lord, should be part of this award. We had to question why our biggest UK hit and the theme to the global Paralympics Games, ‘Harder Than You Think,’ was left out. Maybe because it was released on my own independent label, SlamJamz, and not a major?”