Music News

Chuck D to receive Social Justice Honours Award at CMW

Who better meets the moment and cuts through the noise than Chuck D? 

The influential rapper and one of the elder statesmen of the hip hop and social justice movement will be recognized for his work in speaking truth to power with the Social Justice Honours Award during the opening conference of Canadian Music Week on June 9. He also will be giving a keynote address during the event. 

“Chuck D will receive the Social Justice Honours Award for using every opportunity throughout his career to speak his mind and stand up for what is right. Chuck D is a champion and an innovator with the unique ability to identify new platforms to get his message across. We look forward to hosting this living legend as part of our 40th anniversary conference,” says CMW President Neill Dixon. 

A powerful voice who has been both celebrated and vilified in his storied career, Chuck D is a founding member of Public Enemy and Prophets of Rage and is recognized as an activist, author and musical pioneer. His art is as powerful and important today as when Public Enemy first exploded onto the scene in the 1980s, addressing “race, rage and inequality with a jolting combination of intelligence and eloquence never seen before,” CMW says. 

Chuck D has been included, as part of Public Enemy, on the New York Times’ “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century” list and, in 2005, the U.S. Library of Congress designated the group’s Fear of a Black Planet as a recording worthy of being preserved for posterity in the National Recording Registry. The group was selected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 and, in 2015, “Say It Like It Really Is” served as the soundtrack for the trailer to the Oscar winning movie Selma.

In addition to his well-known music credentials, Chuck D is a visual artist with pieces exhibited around the world; the author of 2017’s This Day In Rap and Hip Hop History, a speaker on the college lecture circuit; an outspoken voice for MusiCares and Rock the Vote. He also runs his own label, SpitSlam and has launched a series of websites, including, and Chuck D has served on behalf of Rock the Vote, the National Urban League and the National Alliance of African American Athletes. Since 2018, he has served as chair of the celebrity board for the soon-to-be-opened Universal Hip Hop Museum in New York.

If you want to be in the room to hear what Chuck D has to say about the state of the world today and his activism, tickets can be purchased here

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

Amber Healy has 523 posts and counting. See all posts by Amber Healy

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.