Chuck D Creates Limited ‘By the Time I Got to Arizona’ Canvases

from The Boom Box

Chuck D has always had a booming voice but now the Public Enemy frontman is hoping to resonate via the painted canvas.

In conjunction with the creative team SceneFour, the rapper-activist created an art piece that was inspired by Public Enemy’s song ‘By the Time I Get to Arizona’ and the immigration policies of the state.

Chuck’s painting is titled after the Public Enemy track, and according to a video that details the creation of the project, took about six months to create. Limited to only 300 pieces, each canvas measures about five feet by three feet and is numbered and signed by Chuck D. The imagery in the piece — described as a “visual mash-up” — draws attention to Arizona legislation that is often taken as hostile to immigrants and akin to racial profiling.

“You have people who think they have the audacity to own the land, mountains, rivers and keep people out of the place that’s supposed to be the pillar of democracy,” said Chuck D in a video. “It’s just hypocritical to the highest degree. So we have to make art to make a statement.

“It’s a lot of different media… A picture is worth a thousand words, but this is worth maybe five thousand words because each situation is worth a thousand words,” continued Chuck. “You live your life knowing that you can sleep at night and you don’t feel guilty about what you really felt you could have said but you didn’t say.”

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