STEWdio: The Naphic Grovel ARTrilogy of Chuck D
Published by: Akashic Books
Imprint: Enemy Books
720 Pages, 5.50 x 8.25 x 3.00 in, full-color illustrations throughout
- Multiple copy pack
- Published: June 2023
Chuck D (Public Enemy, Prophets of Rage, etc.) brings his personal insights and social critiques to the page in fierce, passionate, and evocative visual art and prose in this limited edition box set
Legendary hip-hop artist and social activist Chuck D has used every opportunity in his groundbreaking career to stand up for civil rights. His rap group Public Enemy is widely regarded as a revolutionary act both in terms of its impact on hip-hop and its use of music to impart a message of race and class equality. The band emerged from the late 1970s/early ‘80s coalescence of rap, punk, and street art into hip-hop music culture on the East Coast. At the time, Chuck D had completed his BFA in graphic design, and while his music career exploded, his passion for visual art never left his heart.
In February 2020, he turned his gaze once again to the page, and began to fill three 5 x 8 journals with his written and drawn reflections of a world beginning to unravel. STEWdio: The Naphic Grovel ARTrilogy of Chuck D recreates format of his original art, combining three full-color paperback bound books into a beautiful box set. The box set is the inaugural offering from Enemy Books, the new Akashic Books imprinted curated by Chuck D.
Spanning the onset of COVID-19 through the first year of the Joe “Bye-Don” administration, Chuck D lends his powerful artistic voice to one of the most tumultuous periods in American history, and puts it in a capsule. Like the neo-expressionist graffiti art of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Chuck D’s energetic “Naphic Grovels” marry text with drawings, commenting on contemporary events with the same activist instinct that propelled Public Enemy’s “music-with-a-message” reputation. His inventive, Amiri Baraka–esque language and accompanying art is also occasionally used as a tool for introspection, providing unparalleled insight into one of the most important cultural figures of our time.
Each journal follows a distinct period in Chuck D’s (and America’s) life; There’s a Poison Goin On chronicles the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, from February–April 2020; 45 Daze of REaD Octobot follow the days leading up to and the aftermath of the historic 2020 election; and Datamber Mindpaper, which focuses on the early days of the Biden administration.
No song may be more reflective of 1980s America than Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power;” no document may come to capture our COVID era like Chuck D’s STEWdio.
"The Public Enemy mastermind combines art and hip-hop rhymes to provide his compelling, personal views on the chaotic years between 2020 and 2022. Though they often feel like diary entries, each installment has an overarching storyline and theme . . . In an engaging, distinctly hip-hop style, Chuck D reveal important lessons from the early pandemic years."
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
"From Chuck D bearing his heart and soul in a new trilogy to Jason Derulo revealing his 15 rules to succeeding in life, there are so many good books by Black authors to discover this June. Dive into these 10 reads . . . This box set of three full-color paperback bound books is an engaging time capsule capturing the thoughts and artwork Chuck D created from the start of COVID-19 through the first year of the Biden administration. The co-founder and front man of legendary hip hop group Public Enemy unleashes his commentary on contemporary events with the activist instinct that made the hip hop pioneers a social message phenomenon."
“With audacious style, Chuck D—activist and cofounder of Public Enemy—chronicles his personal life and American history as it unfolded during 2020 and early 2022 in this set of three thought-provoking illustrated diary volumes . . . this detailed cultural archive from a revered hip-hop artist will delight his fans.”
“In June, he will publish a graphic novel trilogy called STEWdio, a huge three-volume hardback affair about Covid and current affairs that he hoists up to show me. With typical punning wordplay, he calls them ‘naphic grovels.’”
“The founder of Public Enemy uses hip-hop rhymes and art to express his persuasive, in-depth opinions about the turbulent years between 2020 and 2022.”