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Public Enemy deny firing Flavor Flav over political views

By | Published on Tuesday 3 March 2020

Public Enemy

Chuck D has denied Flavor Flav’s claims that he was fired from Public Enemy last week due to his political views. The group’s frontman says Flav was actually dropped from the line-up four years ago because “he always chose to party over work”. Although an option to return has apparently now been retracted.

This dispute erupted over the weekend when Public Enemy performed at a benefit for US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. The group was actually billed as Public Enemy Radio (albeit somewhat discretely), a version of the hip hop outfit that has been performing without Flavor Flav for a number of years.

Ahead of the show, Flav issued a cease-and-desist letter, claiming that his image was being used to promote a political campaign without his consent.

That letter stated: “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”.

Speaking to HipHopDX after that letter had been posted, Chuck D responded: “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”.

However, shortly after that, a further statement was issued to Pitchfork, saying: “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”.

To this, Flavor Flav did not take kindly, writing in a series of tweets to Chuck D: “Are you kidding me right now? Over Bernie Sanders? You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years over politics? All because I don’t wanna endorse a candidate. I’m very disappointed in you and your decisions right now Chuck”.

“I’m not your employee, I’m your partner”, he went on. “You can’t fire me. There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav”.

He also disputed any implication in Chuck D’s statements that he is using drugs, saying that he has “been clean for ten years”.

Despite Flav repeatedly reiterating his importance in the group, Chuck D’s attorney has said that “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”.

Now, in yet another statement, Public Enemy have denied that the decision to officially fire Flavor Flav from the group had anything to do with politics. Nor is it really a new development.

“Public Enemy did not part ways with Flavor Flav over his political views”, reads the statement. “Flavor Flav has been on suspension since 2016 when he was MIA from the Harry Belafonte benefit in Atlanta, Georgia. That was the last straw for the group. He had previously missed numerous live gigs from Glastonbury to Canada, album recording sessions and photo shoots. He always chose to party over work”.

“Public Enemy Radio toured Europe and co-headlined with the Wu-Tang Clan in May 2019 without Flavor”, it goes on. “They have also done numerous benefit shows without Flavor. While Public Enemy Radio was moving forward, Flavor Flav was starring on the reality show ‘Growing Up Hip Hop New York’, where an episode featured his children discussing an intervention and putting him into rehab. It’s time to move on and everyone wishes Flavor well”.

And so that’s why everyone should vote for Bernie Sanders.