Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, known professionally as Chuck D, is a multi-platinum recording artist, a Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and a national treasure. As the leader of the rap group Public Enemy, he helped create politically and socially conscious hip-hop music in the mid-1980s.
Ridenhour was born in Queens, New York. He began writing rhymes after the New York City blackout of 1977. After graduating from Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School, he went to Adelphi University on Long Island to study graphic design, where he met William Drayton (Flavor Flav). He received a B.F.A. from Adelphi in 1984 and later received an honorary doctorate from Adelphi in 2013.
Though he graduated from New York’s Adelphia University with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, Chuck D’s career as an internationally celebrated performer sidelined his visual art endeavors for the most part until recently. His unique access to the worlds of Rock and Hip Hop brings a courtroom sketch aesthetic to a here-to-fore undocumented aspect of pop culture history: the point of view of one who has lived it.