Who Was In Public Enemy?

Immerse yourself in the influential world of Public Enemy, the iconic rap group that reshaped hip hop.

BYJake Skudder

Public Enemy, the influential American hip-hop group, has seen several members come and go. They all contributed to the group's evolution and impact on the music scene. This article delves into the ensemble that made up this iconic band.

The Core Of Public Enemy: Founding Members

Chuck D, Flavor Flav and Terminator X, members of the hip hop group Public Enemy, photographed on May 1, 1987. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

The founding members are at the heart of Public Enemy: Chuck D and Flavor Flav. These two have been the only consistent members of the band since its formation in 1985. Both icons have maintained the group's distinct sound and message despite the many lineup changes over the years​​.

Chuck D, born Carlton Ridenhour, is Public Enemy's primary lyricist and lead vocalist. Known for his powerful voice and politically charged lyrics, Chuck D played a crucial role in establishing Public Enemy's strong social and political stance. His partner in rhyme, Flavor Flav, born William Drayton, added a unique flavor to the group. As a rapper, hype man, and comic foil to Chuck D's intensity, Flavor Flav provided a dynamic balance to the group's sound and stage presence.

Key Contributors: Professor Griff & Terminator X

Professor Griff, born Richard Griffin, served as the group's Minister of Information. He joined Public Enemy at its inception but left in 1989. He rejoined in 1998, only to part ways again some years later​1​. His input in the group's thematic content was pivotal, especially in their critique of American society. Additionally, Terminator X, born Norman Rogers, was Public Enemy's original DJ. His turntable skills were an essential component of the group's sound. However, he was replaced by DJ Lord in 1998 after deciding to step back from the group​1​.

Modern Lineup: DJ Lord & Sammy Sam

Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, and members of the hip hop group Public Enemy, photographed in September 1988. (Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

DJ Lord, real name Lord Aswod, has been with the legendary group since 1998, stepping in for Terminator X. His turntable acumen has helped to maintain the group's signature sound and high-energy performances. Sammy Sam is a recent addition to the group. Though not as well-known as the founding members, he plays an essential role in the current lineup.

Public Enemy Radio

Public Enemy on 9/03/92 in Chicago, Il. (Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage)

In a surprising twist, it was announced in 2020 that Flavor Flav was fired from the group. This was later revealed as a publicity stunt for April Fools' Day. Regardless, the group has also been touring and recording music under Public Enemy Radio. This lineup includes Chuck D, Jahi, DJ Lord, and the S1Ws​​.


In conclusion, Public Enemy's lineup has seen numerous changes over the years. Despite these shifts, the group has managed to retain its distinctive sound and powerful message, thanks to the contributions of each member. As we look back on the band's history, it's clear that each member of Public Enemy has left a unique mark on this iconic hip-hop group.

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About The Author
Jake is the SEO Content Lead for HotNewHipHop. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling, gaming and music across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy. His work has also been featured on GiveMeSport, Sportskeeda, Pro Sports Extra, Wrestling Headlines, NoobFeed, Wrestlingnewsco and Keen Gamer, again under the name Jake Jeremy. Previously, he worked as the Editor in Chief of 24Wrestling, building the site’s profile with a view to selling the domain, which was accomplished in 2019. As well as his work for HNHH, Jake is also the Editor in Chief for Fight Fans, a combat sports and pro wrestling site that was launched in January 2021 and broke into the millions of pageviews within the first two years. Jake also previously worked for the biggest independent wrestling company in the UK, PROGRESS Wrestling, as PR Head and Head of Media across the company's social channels. Jake's favourite Hip Hop artists are Kendrick Lamar, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys and Body Count.