Chuck D. (Courtesy photo)

The Broad Museum hosts new book release and panel conversation by Scholar Todd Boyd and Public Enemy’s Chuck D 

Todd Boyd, Ph.D., and renowned artist, Chuck D (Public Enemy) discussed how hip-hop held evangelical influence over the world’s shift in culture. The declaration of Boyd’s hardcover book, “Rapper’s Deluxe: How Hip Hop Made the World” premiered globally on Wednesday, Feb. 07, at The Broad Museum.

According to Boyd, the chronicle looks “to tell the story of contemporary American culture is to tell the story of Hip Hop.”

Phaidon Press published “Rapper’s Deluxe: How Hip Hop Made the World.”  This book is a significant contribution to the history of American culture. Using a wide variety of carefully chosen images—from fine art to album covers—this visual record traces the explosive growth of Hip Hop and reexamines its longstanding impact.


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Todd Boyd (X)

The book’s visually striking pages showcased the atmosphere that gave birth to a global subculture.  It’s organized chronologically from the 1970s to the present. Insightful linkages across historical periods are made by Boyd’s colorful narrative, examining how hip-hop has fused the spectrum of culture to produce a distinct style.

Frequently referred to as the “Notorious Ph.D.,” Boyd is a professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and holds the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the study of race and popular culture.

Boyd looked at the artistry of wordplay across different mediums, referring to Muhammad Ali’s showmanship including anecdotal rhymes before his match. Boyd emphasized his intrigue in that.

“I listened to that and I’m listening to all these inspirations,” Boyd said, “A lot of these people are in the first chapter in the book, and I’m like, ‘how do I figure out a way to speak so that people think its cool, people think it’s compelling—but they are getting educated at the same time?’”

Chuck D is a social activist, writer, multimedia producer, pioneer of digital music, visual artist and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is also an iconic hip-hop performer, known for making history as Public Enemy front man. He originally gained recognition in the 1980s with a series of highly regarded and highly lucrative albums that tackled serious topics like racism, hatred, and inequality with an unprecedented level of eloquence and insight.

“Everything is woven through culture being a galvanizer, being almost like a corroborator to make them get the fuel that they need,” Chuck D. said, “It takes somebody with the language and gadgets that are hip enough and fly enough…”

“Never downplay a scholar, a scholar has to read everything. They read the unpopular sh*t and the popular sh*t,” said Chuck D.

Boyd and Chuck D described hip-hop as intricate storytelling and the impact of the digital age. After the panel conversation, they took questions from the audience and guests were able to purchase the book and have it signed by Boyd.