Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Chuck D has a message for Obama's car, Snoop's heart and LA's Skid Row

public enemy chuck d skid row

Photo via Public Enemy | Used with permission

Chuck D and Public Enemy occupied their Sunday with a free festival on, for, and about LA's skid row.

Organized by local non-profit Los Angeles Community Action Network, LA CAN, and hosted by Public Enemy, "Operation Skid Row" drew a crowd of hundreds to the questionably-permitted free-for-all on a stretch of Gladys Avenue downtown, and featured five hours of consciousness-raising rap and messages of social responsibility. 

KPCC spoke with Chuck D about Public Enemy's involvement with "Operation Skid Row" and the Occupy movement.

"The biggest stories not being told are the realities of housing and homelessness in America. We already know the Occupy movement has shone light to the hypocrisies in America taking care of its people," said the group's frontman.

Likening the U.S. government to a car leaking oil, he asserts, "I always thought Obama was a good driver, but he's in a terrible car in need of an overhaul."


Remembering rapper Heavy D, dead at 44

BACARDI Rums' "Like It Live" Las Vegas - Inside

Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Bacardi

File: Late recording artist Heavy D performs at the Bacardi "Like It Live" Las Vegas event with Cee Lo Green, Travis Barker and Mix Master Mike at the Marquee Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas June 15, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rapper Heavy D died Tuesday in the emergency room at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. The self-named “overweight lover” was 44 years old; his last album was released just two months ago. Authorities say Heavy D collapsed outside his Beverly Hills home.

His given name was Dwight Arrington Myers. His family moved from Jamaica, where he was born, to New York City when he was a boy. If music lovers were still unsure about the hip-hop art form in the late 1980s, his group Heavy D and the Boyz did a lot to convince them that it had heft — and a future.

In 1991, the group released the third of seven albums, "Peaceful Journey," featuring the hit “Now That We Found Love," sampling the 1973 O'Jays song of the same name and adding rap to create a smash.

“Believe it or not, here comes a brother with flow/A snuggling, bubblin’, overweight lovin’ hugging pro/So what’s it gonna be: me or the TV? Let me take time to set your mind and your body free.”