Chuck D Writes Touching Open Letter After Father’s Death
Late Tuesday night (Feb. 9), Public Enemy frontman Chuck D published a letter to the group's official site, remembering his father, who had recently passed. Bomb Squad producer Keith Shocklee announced the news on Facebook earlier, writing, "We lost and I can say this our Dad Mr. Lorenzo Ridenhour."
In the touching open letter, Chuck D calls his father his hero and his Superman and remembers watching the Super Bowl together just days prior. Chuck says of his father, who passed away at 77, that he was an ardent sports fan, rooting for the Mets, the Knicks, the Jets and the Rangers, and was scouted to pitch for the Chicago White Sox but was denied a try out by the Marines. Chuck remembers his father as embodying the concept of "100" and said that he drove a cab in New York City in the 1970s during a dangerous time for the city.
While Chuck says of his father that he may not have attended award shows or many concerts and could not perhaps name many Public Enemy song and album titles, he maintains that his father had a tremendous influence on his life and music.
"When I felt lost and a bit off-track, he had some God-given ability to untwist me and put me back into focus," he wrote. And later: "He championed young fathers, saying that they deserve more credit in today's society. He stood up for women, wives, and mothers just as strongly."
The letter is of considerable length, and shows Chuck in a reflective state of mourning. Perhaps the best summation of Chuck's memory of his father is as follows: "He prided himself as a Black Man; he demanded and gave Respect without effort. He went fearlessly into places where the average head of a family would question. Regardless of whatever I chose to do, my Father knew he'd raised a man in me, who found a way and a means to bark back at the same hypocrisy he saw every day in so many different forms."
Condolences are extended to Chuck D and the entire Ridenhour family. The letter can be read in it's entirety at the Public Enemy website.
See 40 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2016