Chuck D is one of the most influential and respected musicians of all time. The Public Enemy frontman has released 15 albums with the group, including last year’s "What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?" with a sound and message that harks back to their classics, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" and "Fear of a Black Planet." He’s a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and arguably one of the most important artists of the past 40 years.
He is also a lifelong dedicated baseball fan, who grew up in Queens rooting for the Mets and despising the Yankees. He was particularly obsessed with baseball cards, and, in recent years, has taken to drawing not just old ballplayers from those cards but old stadiums from his youth, including a glorious drawing of the old Shea Stadium.
He channeled that nostalgic love for baseball, and the big names of his youth, into an illustration and then a song he performed and produced, titled, “It’s So Hard to See My Baseball Cards Move On,” memorializing the ballplayers we lost in 2020. I spoke with Chuck -- who appeared on MLB Network on Monday discussing social justice in baseball -- about the song, his favorite players growing up, the connection between fatherhood and baseball and what Major League Baseball can do to increase its appeal among Black youth.