Chuck D has sold a major stake in his songwriting catalog to his longtime publisher Reach Music.

Under the deal, Reach has acquired 50 percent copyright interest, along with 100 percent of the writer’s share and global administration right, and encompasses more than 300 songs within the Public Enemy catalog, spanning the group’s albums from their 1987 debut, Yo! Bum Rush the Show—through 2012, and hits, co-written by D, including “Bring the Noise,” “Shut ‘Em Down,” and “Fight the Power,” which was also used as the theme song to Spike Lee’s 1989 film Do the Right Thing.

Sold for an undisclosed fee, the sale includes Chuck D’s full writer’s share and half of his copyright interest as a publisher. D will retain half of the copyright interest in his publishing royalties.

The deal does not include every song credited to Chuck D, yet spans a large selection of Public Enemy’s catalog, including their second groundbreaking album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, released in 1988, and their third album, Fear of a Black Planet, which D nearly co-wrote entirely.

“Mike Closter [Reach founder and president] and everyone at Reach have been handling my song catalog for well over 20 years, and doing this deal was the right timing for a forward and logical evolution of our business together in an ever-changing industry,” said Chuck D. “Reach has always been ahead of the curve on establishing respect for the hip-hop genre songwriting and publishing-wise, and they will continue taking care of my works.”   

Photo: Travis Shinn / Courtesy of Brookes

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