Chuck D Gives Flava Flav The Boot After Bernie Sanders Rally
According to the Rolling Stone, Flava Flav got the boot from Public Enemy yesterday. Chuck D announced in a brief statement Sunday March 1, 2020 the group is permanently “moving forward” without their famous hype man of 35 years. The abrupt firing came two days after the rap pioneer's legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bernie Sanders campaign.
According to reports the cease-and-desist letter, was sent to Sanders on Friday by his lawyer Matthew Friedman. He clearly had an issue with Chuck D’s decision to do a concert for the Sanders campaign’s Los Angeles rally Sunday. The letter said in essence:
“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.” Flav's team accused the Sanders campaign of using the hypeman’s “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock” to promote the rally, even though Flavor Flav “has not endorsed any political candidate.” The letter further stated:
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemys. The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is. There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav."
“Flav … has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle.… The continued publicizing of this grossly misleading narrative is, at a minimum, careless and irresponsible if not intentionally misleading,” Friedman went on write “It is unfortunate that a political campaign would be so careless with the artistic integrity of such iconoclastic figures in American culture.”
In a handwritten note at the bottom of the letter Flavor Flav wrote, “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”
Chuck D said he was tired of Flavs foolishness. In a statement via his lawyer he said:
“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.” 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.”
“My last straw was long ago,” he said. “It’s not about BERNIE with Flav … he don’t know the difference between [former NFL running back] Barry Sanders or Bernie Sanders. He don’t know either. FLAV refused to support Sankofa after Harry Belafonte inducted us. He don’t do that.”
FYI Sankofa, is a grassroots organization that was founded by Harry Belafonte. Per their website, the mission is to focus on issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the disenfranchised, the oppressed, and the underserved, which left unaddressed will continue to impact the lives of too many individuals and remain a scar on our nation’s moral character. In addition Chuck said of Flav:
“If there was a $bag, Flav would’ve been there front & center. He will NOT do free benefit shows,” he continued. “I built [Public Enemy Radio] so it does benefits & fundraisers.… He said he never gonna do them. So his refusal to do Harry Belafonte’s [Many Rivers to Cross festival] in Atlanta 2016 was my last time. I built Enemy Radio to get far away from that ridiculousness.”
Unfortunately there's been a lot of bad blood between Chuck D and Flav over the past few years including a lawsuit over royalties and copyright disputes. Hopefully they can see past the drama and work this out.