The frontman for legendary rap group Public Enemy, Chuck D. is now an activist and author.
Born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour and raised in Queens, Chuck D. began his music career when Rick Rubin heard his demo "Public Enemy Number One" and signed him to Def Jam. Although "Public Enemy Number One" featured the contributions of future groupmate Flavor Flav, Public Enemy didn't officially form until DJs Terminator X and Professor Griff joined the duo. Their debut album, Yo! Bum The Rush Show was a major critical success, and the group earned a boost from their opening act performances for fellow labelmates the Beastie Boys. With each subsequent album release, such as It Takes a Nations of Millions to Hold Us Back and Fear of a Black Planet which featured their most popular track "Fight the Power," Public Enemy's song content became more politically charged, paving the way for Chuck D's activism. Although they continue to occasionally tour together, Chuck D has made a name for himself on his own, with his website rapstation.com, which boasts original content and encourages peer-to-peer file sharing, and his radio show Unfiltered. He even penned the tome Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality, which explored the pervasive negative attitudes toward rap music. [Image via Getty]