Professor Griff talks Kings of the Mic Tour and career with Public Enemy

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On Thursday, May 23, 2013, political rap group Public Enemy will unite with fellow Hip-Hop legends De La Soul, Ice Cube and LL Cool J to kick off the Kings of the Mic Tour at the AVA Amphitheater in Tucson, Ariz. Professor Griff, 53, an original member of Public Enemy, told about the upcoming tour as well as his long-lasting career with Public Enemy.

“LL teamed up with Chuck D to put this tour together because he was tired of being told that he needed to tour with newer artists,” said Griff over the phone. “This tour will educate younger generations. Not because the artists are considered ‘Old Skool’ but because it will show them what it’s like to see a REAL show!”

Griff explained part of Public Enemy’s success was their ability to give a great performance on stage. Stating a good live show, among other aspects, is a major factor separating rappers from emcees.

“Rappers rap, that’s all they do,” said Griff. “An emcee does much more than that. An emcee is a performer. They are Griots. They are responsible for passing on information. Don’t touch a mic if you don’t know what you’re doing.”

On Thursday, April 18, 2013, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other inductees included Rush, Heart, Randy Newman, Albert King, Lou Adler, Donna Summer and Quincy Jones. Griff said Public Enemy’s nomination was a beautiful experience but came as a surprise to him.

“I never thought I would end up in that space,” said Griff. “I am not very well liked. Controversy seems to follow me.”

Public Enemy’s nomination was a huge victory for the group, making them the fourth Hip-Hop act to be inducted into the museum. Other Hip-Hop acts nominated into the Hall of Fame include:

  1. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five (2007)
  2. Run-D.M.C. (2009)
  3. The Beastie Boys (2012)

Griff told how Public Enemy’s addition to the museum was a positive step forward for the Hip-Hop community and he would like to see more Hip-Hop acts nominated in the future. Salt N Peppa, Queen Latifa, Rage Against The Machine and KRS-One were all mentioned in Griff’s list of artist he would like to see nominated.

While reflecting over his 26-year musical career Griff told what he would have differently if he could do it all over again.

“I would take back the comments I said about the Jews during my interview with David Mills,” said Griff. “I was insensitive and it closed a lot of doors for me.”

Griff released his fourth book entitled The A’capella Revolution which he calls the “Black Print” of being a Griot. Stating it is our duty to tell our story. Explaining how “words become flesh” and we must be held responsible for what we say.

“In the book I show my lyrics and the research I did to make them,” said Griff. “Can you imagine a newer artist trying to explain the meaning behind their lyrics?”

To purchase The A’capella Revolution as well as Griff’s other books, visit his website http://www.pgriff.info/

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