Well damn, the tension was real. Something snapped.
Apparently Chuck D meant what he said about cutting Flavor Flav loose from Public Enemy as he said he would do if he didn’t perform at the Bernie Sanders rally on Sunday in Los Angeles.
So now there’s this …
Via RollingStone: Public Enemy announced Sunday they are permanently “moving forward” without Flavor Flav, firing one of hip-hop’s most memorable hypemen after 37 years. The abrupt dismissal comes just two days after the rapper (Flavor Flav) sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bernie Sanders over Chuck D’s concert at the campaign’s Los Angeles rally Sunday.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the hip-hop legends said in a brief statement Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
The group reiterated that Public Enemy Radio — a Chuck D-led offshoot featuring DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws — would still perform at the free, live-streamed Sanders rally gig at 6 p.m. PST at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
As we alluded to up top, the tension between Chuck D, the rest of PE and Flavor Flav had been building for some time. That tension escalated on Friday when Flav’s lawyer Matthew Friedman wrote to Sanders on Friday accusing his campaign of using the “unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock” of the rapper to promote a Sunday rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” the letter stated. “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.”
Here is what we reported earlier …
*The relationship between Public Enemy rappers Chuck D and Flavor Flav has been tenuous for several years now. More about that shortly. But more recently, they’ve begun to have issues over politics.
Here’s the deal. Chuck D is a big Bernie Sanders fan/supporter and Flavor Flav ain’t. Nope, he’s not “feelin’ the Bern'” as they say. OK, so what(?), you say. Well, the problem is Chuck D is demanding that Flav perform with Public Enemy at a Bernie Sanders rally later today in Los Angeles.
Here’s what Chuck D said yesterday (02-29-20) regarding PE’s alliance with Sanders. Needless to say, he laid down the gauntlet with Flav.
“Flavor chooses to dance for his money and not do benevolent work like this,” Chuck said in a statement to HipHopDX. “He has a year to get his act together and get himself straight or he’s out.”
Well damn, that about says it all. We guess.
In the meantime, Flavor Flav, via his lawyer, released a lengthy statement as to why he’s taking a pass on the rally.
“We have become aware that Flavor’s bandmate and Public Enemy co-creator, Chuck D, has endorsed Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for President and plans to perform at an upcoming Sanders Rally,” the statement reads in part. “While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit—his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy. 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.”
The letter goes on to call the announcement “grossly misleading” and refers to the Sanders campaign as a “fake revolution.”
And as far as the previous tension between Chuck D and Flavor Flav. Back in 2017, Flav sued Chuck D over royalties over the group’s Nothing Is Quick in the Desert album.
One has to wonder if Chuck is still smarting from that situation.