Chuck D premieres ‘By the time I get to Arizona’ art piece, talks politics and art


Twenty years ago, Chuck D penned the prescient “By the Time I Get to Arizona,” a searing tangent aimed at the state legislators who refused to vote for a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

With the passage of April’s anti-immigration laws, the state once again became a center of attention for racial tensions and political debate. In response, the always-outspoken Public Enemy frontman has collaborated on an art piece with Ravi Dosaj, the man who just last year successfully recast the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA as George Washington.

The result of their union, a limited-edition series restricted to just 300 canvasses, finds D standing in front of a blood-red backdrop, packing with different types of people standing glumly behind bars. According to the artists themselves, the concept details “a future Arizona border created in a sophisticated collage utilizing a cache of recognizable figures (created over the last 100 years) to show how our ‘nation of immigrants’ has been lost to legislation.”

To promote the art piece and (as always) to impart knowledge, Chuck D spoke to Pop & Hiss about his latest venture.

What made you decide to get involved with doing an art piece based on “By the Time I Get to Arizona?”

It was a mutual decision. I was familiar with [Dosaj] from his RZA portrait and his work with Bootsy Collins. Plus I come from a visual art background. I graduated with an art degree from Adelphi in 1984, and I’ve been influential in various art departments since the 1980s and 1990s. I’ve always believed that art and culture are intertwined with the human race and wholly diametrically opposed from government, who categorize you based on how old you are and how you look.

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Chuck D Gets Honored With Mural in Chicago


The legendary Chuck D was recently honored with a special mural in Chicago…

Chuck D was recently honored with a mural by the Momentum Art Team located on Chicago’s West Side.

Created in just two days, the goal for the artwork was to portray Chuck’s penchant of teaching on and off the mic for a larger audience. Working with the Scenefour—a Los Angeles based art collective that’s collaborated with the likes of RZA, Hieroglyphics, and more—Chuck is using the mural project to put focus on the controversial immigration policies in Arizona.

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Chuck D Drops Fine Art Collabo Protesting Arizona Immigration Law


Public Enemy frontman, Chuck D, unveiled his fine art piece, “By The Time I Got To Arizona”, earlier this month.

The piece, which is aimed at Arizona’s SB 1070 law and Chuck feels encourages police to racially profile Latinos, was released in very limited quantities. While each canvas in the series measures 60 by 33 inches, the statement each makes looms way larger. Arizona’s SB 1070 law “takes America a large step towards fascism,” says a rep for the rapper.

“Ultimately, the decision to allow America to turn on the come-one-come-all philosophy, that once made it the most progressive country in the world, rests with we, the people,” a press release about Chuck’s piece reads. “And it is the people whose minds Chuck D seeks to move with ‘By The Time I Got To Arizona’.”

The limited edition, fine art collaboration with notorious Los Angeles creativity house SceneFour, was released to the public on March 4th and has rapidly become their fastest-selling piece in a line of artwork that includes collaborations with RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan and Bootsy Collins.

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