Chuck D has hit back at accusations of anti-Semitism in the track ‘Swindler’s Lust’. In an interview in the latest NME with Stephen Dalton, Chuck D dismissed accusations levelled at him recently by the Anti Defamation League.
“In Schindler’s List, Spielberg was talking about the pain of what he visualised in his people, and I’d just say for me as a black artist in the music industry, the pain I visualised was ‘Swindler’s Lust’,” he said. “The swindle of the music industry has really been one-sided when it comes to black artists, especially in hip-hop. People have taken it as an attack on Schindler’s List, like it’s me saying Jewish people run the music industry, which I think is stupid and I wouldn’t say it. But I would say that everybody had their piece of taking the soul out of black folks and turning us into jokes, even black people themselves. Anybody can be a swindler. People might say, ‘How could Chuck D play around with Spielberg‘s creation?’ But I’m like, ‘Why the fuck not? He’s not God!'”
Aren’t you simply stoking up traditional tensions that exist between African Americans and Jewish Americans?
“There’s not really tension. I think that comes out of newspapers and hype coming out of New York, where the communities have overspilled into each other with city problems. Because New York’s the media capital it becomes a bigger issue. The majority of black folk in the United States pay Jewish people no mind, they still can’t find the difference between Jewish people and white people.”
Lay it on the line, Chuck, do you have a problem with Jewish people?
“Not at all, I judge people as individuals. If a person I don’t like happens to be Jewish, I just don’t like that person. Your religion don’t mean shit – if you’re fucked up, you’re fucked up. Do I have problems with black folk as individuals? Yeah, a few of them. But it’s a waste of time to dislike group philosophies other than saying that I’m tired of people being programmed, and that’s what this whole album’s about. Fuck it, I could say I’m Jewish tomorrow – who’s to say I’m not? I really don’t get into classifying people other than saying that, as a black person, I’m classified.”
You can read the full interview where Chuck D talks about Eminem, the internet and his attack on the “jiggy generation” of rappers in NME out now in London and across the UK from tomorrow.