Spotify, in partnership with the BBC, has launched “Stay Free: The Story of the Clash,” an eight-part podcast on the iconic punk band, narrated by Public Enemy front man, Chuck D. It might seem like an unexpected pairing. And yet Spotify explains: “Like The Clash, Public Enemy openly challenged the status quo in a completely original way—this parallel and Chuck D’s personal experiences bring a surprising new dimension to the story of The Clash.” Reviewing the production in The New Yorker, Sarah Larson adds:
In [“Stay Free: The Story of the Clash”], we learn that Chuck D, a radio d.j. at the time, co-founded Public Enemy after a conversation, in 1986, with a friend at Def Jam, who wanted him to become “the hip-hop version of Joe Strummer,” of the Clash—to make music with “intellectual heft” that could also “rock the party.” And reader, he did. His presence as narrator adds appealing perspective and gravitas to the podcast, which begins with the story of the Clash’s origins, in a West London riot in 1976. With a skillfully layered presentation of punk music, seventies-London audio, and interview clips, the podcast so far thrills me the way that “Mogul,” the Spotify-Gimlet podcast about the late hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty, did; I’m eager to hear the rest.
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