On February 3, Audible’s popular WORDS + MUSIC franchise will release Audible Original Songs That Shook the Planet written and performed by Hip-hop pioneer Chuck D. The legendary lyricist and co-founder of Public Enemy takes listeners on an extraordinary journey through politically and socially conscious music. Part history lesson and part memoir, Songs That Shook the Planet spans genres and decades to call out the brave artists who continue to inspire necessary change in the world.
Songs That Shook the Planet reintroduces listeners to indelible songs from artists who literally put their lives on the line to speak truth to power and provides a soundtrack of civil uprising that is perhaps even more powerful and relevant today.
You’ll hear the stories behind legendary tracks as well as the songs themselves, performed by Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Too Short, and more. Listening is both empowering and haunting; too often the artists paid a shocking price for their ability to articulate injustice so forcefully. Chuck D makes the experience even more revelatory by adding his own reminiscences about how the songs—many heard on the record player at home that his mother kept spinning with a stunning range of music—influenced his early life and his own career as an agent of change.
About Chuck D:
Chuck D is globally recognized as one of the main architects behind politicizing rap music to serve truth to power. He sold millions of records while maintaining his authenticity. Songs such as “Fight the Power,” “By the Time I Get to Arizona” “Bring the Noise” and “SOTU” captivated audiences by placing emphasis on learning one’s history and overturning racism and its oppressors. Both as a solo artist and as the founder of the groundbreaking hip-hop group Public Enemy, Chuck D’s culturally conscious raps and Black-centered activism helped to turn rap music into the “Black CNN” around the world.
An uncompromising force on-and-offstage, Chuck D is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee (2013); Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner (2020) one of the top 20 MCs of all time (XXL Magazine, 2014); a best-selling author (This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History, 2017); a preserved member of The Library of Congress (Fear of a Black Planet, 2005); a visual artist who’s art resides in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Museum and Oakland Museum, in addition to numerous gallery shows around the world. A highly sought after lecturer on the college campus circuit. A native of Roosevelt, Long Island, Chuck D has continued the political activism legacy started by his parents to become an outspoken advocate of digital technology and a prominent member of music industry non-profit organizations Music Cares and Rock The Vote. He is also the recipient of the Woody Guthrie Lifetime Achievement Award (2019).
Through Chuck D’s leadership, no other group in hip-hop or rock, has ever expressed political ideas with as much intellect and visceral excitement. He persists to make work that moves us forward. From his long-running RapStation.com website to founding music groups like Prophets of Rage alongside members of Rage Against The Machine; Tom Morrello, Brad Wilk, Tim Commerford and Cypress Hill’s Breal; to his work as Chairman of the Celebrity Board for the forthcoming Universal Hip-Hop Museum in New York. Chuck D is a champion for people who don’t have a platform. Hip-hop is activism and Chuck D embodies that ideal.
Written & Performed by Chuck D
Premieres February 3, 2022 Exclusively on Audible