One thing most people don’t know about Public Enemy’s Chuck D is that he graduated from Adelphi University in 1984 with a degree in graphic design.
That will change now that the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer from Roosevelt has opened his first exhibit, “Behind the Seen,” which will run through the end of March at Gallery 30 South in Pasadena, California.
“Everybody feels, everybody wants to express themselves,” Chuck D told me last year. “But you have to learn from somebody. I learned at Adelphi. I came into the school with talent, but I left knowing how to express myself — in art and music.”
His pieces are mostly done in watercolor and ink, illustrations of memorable moments in his career with Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage, as well as some of his collaborators and inspirations.
Some pieces, including one of Run-DMC, will move from 30 South to the Oakland Museum of California’s “Respect: Hip-Hop Style & Wisdom” exhibit, which opens March 24.
Of course, millions have already seen Chuck D’s most famous artwork — the Public Enemy logo, the image of a man standing in a scope’s crosshairs.