Carlton Douglas Ridenhour (born August 1, 1960), better known by his stage name Chuck D, is an American emcee, author, and producer. He helped create politically and socially conscious hip hop music in the mid-1980s as the leader of the rap group Public Enemy. About.com ranked him at No. 9 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time, while The Source ranked him at No. 12 on their list of the Top 50 Hip-Hop Lyricists of All Time.