Nov.27th – Journalist , hip-hop activist and “media assassin” Harry Allen was born in Brooklyn , New York , on this day in 1964.
Allen , who later grew up in Freeport , Long Island , New York met Yours Truly Chuck D. when we both took an animation class at Aldelphi University in Hempstead , Long Island in 1982.
Allen would then congregate with myself , Flavor Flav , Terminator X. future Def Jam executive Bill Stephney , Andre “Doctor Dre” Brown(who along with Ed Lover would later host “Yo! MTV Raps) and my Spectrum City co-founders Hank and Keith Shocklee(who along with Eric “Veitnam” Sadler) would also form the future Public Enemy production team known as The Bomb Squad , at Adelphi’s radio station WBAU 90.3fm. These musical and political ciphers would shape some of the early musical and ideological philosophies of P.E..
In the early 80’s Allen would also become a photographer , capturing some of hip-hop’s early scenes during this time on film.
Allen later became a journalist with his 1st published piece being on the political ideology of Public Enemy.
Allen would be now known as a ‘hip-hop activist” and “media assassin”. Allen later became Public Enemy’s publicist and director of Enemy relations.
Allen would eventually go on to write pieces for The Village Voice , Essence , Spin , and Vibe Magazine.
Harry Allen has appeared on P.E. tracks such as “Don’t Believe The Hype” from 1988’s “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” , “More News At 11” from 1991’s “Apocalypse ‘91” – The Enemy Strikes Black” and “Harry Allen’s Interactive Super Highway Phone Call To Chuck D.” from 1994’s “Muse Sick N Hour Mess Age”. Harry Allen also appeared with me in the music video for “Buck Whylin’” from Terminator X.’s 1991 solo debut album “Terminator X. And The Valley Of The Jeep Beets”.
In the 1990’s , Allen set up one of hip-hop’s earliest online presence with the web-zine “Rap Dot Com”.
He also co-founded The Rhythm Cultural Institute with KRS-One and others , which moderates and hosts seminars and researches the methodology necessary to create a fitting Hip-Hop Hall Of Fame.
In 2007 , an exhibition of Allen’s photography entitled “Part Of The Permanent Record : Photos From The Previous Century” opened at The Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery in Manhattan , a gallery that specializes in hip-hop-related art , founded and owned by former Def Jam Director Of Media Relations Bill Adler.
Allen currently resides in Harlem , New York and hosts a friday afternoon radio show on WBAI-NY 99.5fm called “Nonfiction”.
Allen has been one of the most important writers and journalists in the history of hip-hop.