On Aug. 11, 2023, Major League Baseball launched a business partnership with Mass Appeal’s Hip-Hop 50 Live at Yankee Stadium, home of the 27-time World Series champion, New York Yankees.
The stadium is located in the Bronx, which is well-known as the birthplace of rap music, one of the core elements of hip-hop culture.
With this one-year partnership continuing into the 2024 season, the MLB along with all 30 teams will provide baseball and rap music fans a variety of things such as content creation, merchandise, and other exciting giveaways to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the marriage of the music genre and culture to the city of New York.
The choice to be the music ambassador for this year-long extravaganza turned out to be an easy one if you’re a hip-hop fan.
Chuck D (born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour on Long Island, NY) is the leader of the iconic group Public Enemy.
One of the more recognizable voices of the hip-hop generation, Chuck D has always been an ambassador to this music, so adding the title music ambassador, which will include his overseeing special content and programming, allows Major League Baseball to educate its fanbase to the overall impact of the music and culture while enjoying the historical game of baseball and its impact on African-Americans. It kind of brings Jay Z’s partnership with the NFL to mind.
Chuck D showed his humility as the first rap artist to work exclusively with MLB.
“As a longtime baseball fanatic, I am beyond honored to be the first hip-hop artist to work with Major League Baseball in this exciting new way – connecting sound and culture to the stories of the game,” said Chuck D. “Thank you MLB for adding me to the lineup… and the pitch is on the way.”
Chuck D’s love of baseball is not just for today’s game or just the MLB. He is a student of the game with knowledge dating back to the Negro Leagues. Just last year he took to social media to honor the Philadelphia Stars.
Look for Chuck’s exclusive content on all of MLB’s platforms; MLB.com, MLB.TV and the MLB Network as well as social media handles like @MLB and @MLBLife. The cerebral rapper’s resumé shows that Baseball got the most-qualified man for the job.
Besides producing iconic albums, Chuck D and Public Enemy have been the recipients of numerous honors including the group being 2013 inductees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
Just this year, Chuck D released “We Wreck Stadiums” which is a collection of songs honoring some of baseball’s players from the past and their impact on the game of baseball and society.
He also developed and executive produced “Fight the Power: How Hip Hop Changed the World,” a four-episode documentary series covering the evolution of the music genre and its significant impact on society and the World. It premiered on PBS in 2023.
With his love for baseball cards, Chuck has also taken up drawing. One standout piece is his illustration of the old Shea Stadium—formerly home to his beloved Mets. (He hated the Yankees!)