The original Public Enemy is officially no more. After 35 years, Chuck D fired founder member and the man who put the hype in hypeman, Flavor Flav.
Today’s politics are even affecting Hip-Hop. In a statement sent to Rolling Stone, Public Enemy announced Flavor Flav’s termination from the iconic rap group while thanking him for his service.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
The statement was sent right before Chuck D, and fellow Public Enemy Radio members DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws hit the stage at a Bernie Sanders rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Hence the reason we are here now. When the event was announced, Flavor Flav issued a cease and desist letter through his lawyer, Matthew Friedman, which pointed out he hasn’t “endorsed any political candidate.” The letter also accused the Sanders’ campaign was using Flav’s “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock.”
The letter closed out with “Bernie, his name is Flavor Flav, and he does NOT approve your message!”
After the letter was sent, Chuck D responded with his own statement sent to HipHopDx, where he accused of Flav of only performing when a bag is involved.
“Flavor chooses to dance for his money and not do benevolent work like this. He has a year to get his act together and get himself straight, or he’s out.”
Chuck D’s lawyer added more clarity to the situation in a statement issued to Rolling Stone pretty much, pointing out that his client did everything for the group.
“From a legal standpoint, Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark. He originally drew the logo himself in the mid-80s, is also the creative visionary and the group’s primary songwriter, having written Flavor’s most memorable lines.”
Despite the fallout, the concert went on, and Chuck D and Public Enemy Radio performed for about 30-minutes. Chuck also threw his support behind Sanders and spoke on the importance of voting to the crowd.
“Voting is as important as washing your ass in the morning…Some people say you don’t have to wash. Well, you don’t. But then don’t go telling everybody how it stinks out here.”
Following the performance, Chuck D took to his Twitter account and spoke on the situation in a series of tweets.
Flavor Flav and Chuck D’s relationship has been strained for some time. Back in 2017, Flav sued Chuck D, accusing him of stiffing him on royalties, merchandising, and performance fees. At the time, Chuck responded to the suit stating, “Flav HAS HIS rights, but took a wrong road on this,” and that his beef was with a “third party merchandiser who handling their items.” Chuck D remained optimistic the duo would work out their issues, claiming, “We will be [TOGETHER]on a future stage. And [Flav] will again be embarrassed admitting on stage about the way it spun out. It’s always this way with him.”
We sincerely hope that Chuck D and Flavor Flav can work out their differences.
Photo: The Washington Post / Getty