Pubic Enemy’s Chuck D says that a government document inspired the creation of his group’s name.
“The United States Constitution once considered Black people to be three-fifths of a human being,” Chuck D says during an interview with Rolling Stone. “If this is a public document, obviously we must be the enemy, so that’s where the name Public Enemy came from.”
The group’s logo, which features a man in a b-boy stance in the crosshairs of a gun sight, also had political significance.
“The crosshairs logo symbolized the Black man in America,” Chuck D says. “A lot of people thought it was a straight trooper because of the hat, but the hat is one of the ones that Run-DMC wore. The B-Boy stance and the silhouette was more like the Black man on the target.”
Public Enemy has also partnered with Arnette Eyewear for a limited-edition Public Enemy Collection of glasses. An image of the glasses, which feature interchangeable black and white arms featuring the group’s logo, is below.
Chuck D says that the glasses fulfill both practical and business needs.
“I like to wear sunglasses, but I don’t like to wear sunglasses at performances,” he says. “We decided to do this because we were tired of not having things for people. We’re not going to go do some lucrative vodka shit, where it’s the rapper goes big and has his own vodka. I can’t do that. I’m not part of that one. But I hope these do well.”
Chuck D tweeted about the creation of the Public Enemy logo earlier this month. His tweet is as follows:
1986 the construction of the logo, magic markers -white out copy machine -Exacto knife ..no computer or Photoshop pic.twitter.com/67SV6vFK2H
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) August 3, 2014