Hip-Hop icon Chuck D, leader of the famed rap group Public Enemy, advised students to not become “sheeple” and to “not believe the hype” Tuesday at an appearance at PCC. “Welcome to the western world. What the system basically wants to do is turn the masses into asses. You are people not sheeple.” He said. “When you leave here, I want you to leave with your own minds because the minds are the real estate of the future. Wherever you are, wherever you exist, lead with your own mind.”

Chuck D, formally known as Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, appeared as part of the Cross-Cultural Center’s series of diverse speakers.

Ridenhour initially delivered his speech “Fight The Power: Race, Rap, and Reality,” then answered follow-up questions from the audience. He signed autographs, shook hands, took pictures, and answered more questions with the students, faculty, and staff members at a reception in the Cross-Cultural Center following the presentation.

He explained that his famous mantra, “don’t believe the hype,” is an extension of western philosopher Noam Chomsky’s belief to ” challenge the information that’s out there.”

Ridenhour constantly dared students to evoke Chomsky’s idea in their everyday routine and to not become ” sheeple,” a person who lets the government shuffle a young adult through the system like when a shepard guides the sheep through a field.

Comedic wordplay was repeatedly used to capture attention and deliver his messages.

The rap legend stressed the importance of young adults being aware and knowledgeable of the media, the government, and the current economic crisis.

“I give [students] props because your ‘re living in a country that doesn’t give young people props for intelligence,” Ridenhour explained. “As we continued to watch the television telling lies through your vision within a radiation of a radio, TV, movie nation, the smarter you became the more craziness you see out there.

Chuck D, of the rap group Public Enemy, speaks in the Sexson Auditorium on Tuesday. (Jeremy Balan)

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