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Publisher's Summary

Hip-hop pioneer Chuck D, the legendary lyricist and cofounder of Public Enemy, takes listeners on an extraordinary journey through politically and socially conscious music. Part history lesson and part memoir, Songs That Shook the Planet spans genres and decades to call out the brave artists who continue to inspire necessary change in the world. 

You’ll hear the stories behind legendary tracks as well as the songs themselves, performed by Billie Holiday, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Too Short, and more. Listening is both empowering and haunting; too often the artists paid a shocking price for their ability to articulate injustice so forcefully. Chuck D makes the experience even more revelatory by adding his own reminiscences about how the songs - many heard on the record player at home that his mother kept spinning with a stunning range of music - influenced his early life and his own career as an agent of change. 

Songs That Shook the Planet reintroduces listeners to indelible songs from artists who literally put their lives on the line to speak truth to power and provides a soundtrack of civil uprising that is perhaps even more powerful and relevant today. 

Songs That Shook the Planet was conceived, written, and produced, by Chuck D & Lorrie Boula as the latest installment of Audible’s Words + Music franchise, with additional writing by Arthur Turnbull and Gia'na M.Garel.

©2021 Audible Originals LLC (P)2022 Audible Originals, LLC.

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About the Creator and Performer

Chuck D is a primary architect of the movement that revolutionized rap as a means of serving truth to power. He is co-founder of Public Enemy, writing the lyrics behind anthems such as "Fight the Power," "By the Time I Get to Arizona," "Bring the Noise," and "State of the Union (STFU)" while establishing a new voice of Black-centered activism.
Critically lauded, Chuck D is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, one of XXL’s top 20 MCs of all time, a best-selling author (This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History), and a preserved member of The Library of Congress (Fear of a Black Planet). He continues to make work that moves us forward. From his long-running RAPstation.com website to founding music groups like Prophets of Rage, Chuck D embodies the ideal of hip-hop as activism.

Featured Article: From the Queen of Soul to the Purple One, Hear the Stories of Black Musicians and Artists Who Broke Boundaries


This Black History Month—and every day of the year—we're shining a light on artists and thinkers who demonstrate the boundless depths of Black creativity, joy, and love. We've gathered a list of memoirs by and biographies about artists who totally upended the expectations of a white-dominated field and crafted something entirely their own, making history and changing lives as a result.

What listeners say about Songs That Shook the Planet

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Excellent and different Sound+Music episode

I've listened to most of the Sound+Music episodes and they mostly follow the same formula, and it's not a bad one: part memoir, part music. This one is different and is so appropriate to his work. Chuck D doesn't tell us a thing about Public Enemy, which would have been great in its own right. Instead, true to who he's always been, he lead us through a history of socially conscious songs and anthems which had real impact or which specially reflected their time.

Some of these have been so overplayed since then that their meaning has all but been forgotten. When you hear Bob Marley, you're more likely to envision a middle class teenage white boy getting his first taste of mild psychotropics than you are to think about revolution against an actual oppressive regime. Chuck D reminds us of the original power and circumstances of these songs with the presence of a showman of genuine conviction.

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More

Loved it. It feels like it could, or maybe should have been more expansive. With a title like “Songs that Shook the World," I was expecting maybe more depth, but definitely more breadth as far as song and artist selection and geographic location. As it is, this is a reflection of songs in a few genres that shook mainly North America and within a narrow band of time. This could be the first of many more volumes, just saying.

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  • 02-05-22

OMG! WONDERFUL

Chuck D did a fantastic job of presenting this material. I enjoyed the story as well as the music that accompanied the storyline. A history lesson with music and songs.

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Earth Rattling

Very informative and enlightening. Great artist and songs. So much detail into the songs and the artist.

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Powerfully done sharing info that we need to know!

Truly on-point and deep, giving pure GOLD a shine!
Highly recommended!!! Don't wait, get it!

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skAMAZING!

Chuck D's narration, especially his obvious passion for the music, is intoxicating. I love how much he acknowledges songs from original Jamaican Ska!!

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Thank you!

Excellent! I enjoyed this from start to finish. Learning the background of the songs I too grew up listening to thanks to my parents was so enlightening. I highly recommend this audiobook. Hearing it in Chuck D’s iconic voice was a benefit as well.

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Excellent anthology of great music as well as social justice and history lesson

Learn some knew stuff about music and the history of the country. Thought provoking content with music that will keep you motivated to make a difference every day. Big Thumbs up
Thanks ,ChuckD, for making this Audible event.

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  • 02-23-22

🎶I Love This🎵

I loved Chuck’s Narration…..I enjoyed hearing the background of this music I know most of us heard growing up….this was more than just music…it had a message…it was the soundtrack to our lives.

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A Must Listen

Critical music history from one of the most respected elders. These songs should be on everyone’s frequent rotation, and their history should be common knowledge. Chuck D’s voice is unforgettable, and his narration natural and captivating.