On the Line w/ Professor Griff of Public Enemy
By Davey D

Last month we sat down with Professor Griff of Public Enemy and chopped it up with him about the various projects he’s undertaking, his love for heavy metal music, the current state of Hip Hop and the business dealings and internal politics of Public Enemy.

We started off building on his love for Heavy Metal. He has a band called Seventh Octave and has been pushing a genre that he coins Ghetto Metal. Griff reminds those who seem surprised at his attraction to heavy metal because they associate it with white kids, to not be shocked and to research their history. In our interview Professor Griff talks about the roots of Rock-N-Roll. He also talks about his admiration for rock icon Jimmy Hendrix.

Griff points out how influential Hendrix was and how much of threat he was to the government. Griff talks about the Cointel-pro program of J Edgar Hoover and points out that artists like Hendrix were subjected to surveillance by the gov’t. This is outlined in a book called ‘The Secret War on Rock-N-Roll’.

In part 2 of our interview, Professor Griff explains his role as Minister of Information for Public Enemy and how he has expanded that concept to now start educating children. He has developed a children’s CD which he hopes will counter the onslaught of pornographic like content being marketed to them daily by major corporations.

Griff also lets us know about his collaboration with rap star Doug E Fresh, where the pair are currently developing a curriculum called ‘The New Ankh’ so parents can have useful tools to help educate their kids.

Griff also talks about Shakaras which he describes as wheels of light and 7 points on the body affected by vibrations and frequencies. He talks about the different types of shakaras and how they impact are intellect as well as our base desires. He goes into detail and breaks down how different sounds will uplift us, stimulate our intellect or get us to respond animalistically.

In part 3 of our interview Professor Griff talks about the significance of the Million More Movement. As we reflected upon the day’s events, Griff talks about the importance of bringing everyone from gays on down to pimps and thugs to get the message and that hopefully people will take to heart and start building.

One of the more fascinating parts of our discussion is when Griff reveals the inner workings, business dealings and politics behind Public Enemy. For example, he talks about how Public Enemy on paper is Chuck D and Flavor Flav and that the rest of the members are signed to one of those two parties. Payment is distributed via the person you are signed under. Griff talks about how the new sampling laws economically impacted the group retroactively. Griff concludes this segment by talking about his new book which deals with the music industry. He explains that he wrote it after being approached once too many times at nightclubs or in grocery stores by cats trying to make it in the industry and who would bombard him with a ton of questions.

In our last segment, professor Griff talks about the Atlanta music scene. He notes that he clearly understands how many of the icons of today like Outkast and Lil Jon looked up to PE at one point. He says he now looks up to them to learn new aspects of the game and that this exchange is good. He also talks about the obstacles one would face in setting up their own distribution system.

Griff ends the interview by talking about the current state of Hip Hop. He cites the green-lighting of artists like Young Jeezy as an indication of where things are headed.