You didn't expect Public Enemy to celebrate its 25th anniversary with a cake and a wave of nostalgia, did you?
Instead, the Roosevelt-based groundbreaking hip-hop group -- currently on the short list of nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year -- has launched the Hip Hop Gods Tour, which stopped at a sold-out Irving Plaza Thursday night, where the group outlined an ambitious plan to change hip-hop and minority communities at a news conference before the show.
"You are an entertainer, but you need to be able to take the art on your shoulders," rapper Chuck D said. "You need to be able to take the community you came from on that other shoulder."
In the name of hip-hop and its fans, Chuck said he plans to host protest concerts in front of the area's biggest hip-hop radio stations -- Hot 97 and Power 105 -- next year to try to get what he calls more positive music onto the stations. He also called on fans to ask the stations and BET for more real hip-hop.
Chuck said he organized the Hip Hod Gods Tour, which also features Schoolly D, Monie Love and other more socially conscious rappers, to be like the Monsters of Rock shows he heard about when he was growing up on Long Island. However, the shows also include social activists, who will discuss their work with the homeless.
"I'm not the bearer of bad news," he said. "I'm the bearer of reality."