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Public Enemy reveal Flavor Flav dispute was just a very confusing hoax

By | Published on Wednesday 1 April 2020

Public Enemy

So, it turns out that Public Enemy firing Flavor Flav last month was all a big April Fool’s hoax to promote some new music. Ha! Ahahahahaha! Hahaha! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Ha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Urgh.

Despite claims early last month that Flavor Flav had been fired from the hip hop group due to either his political beliefs or lack of commitment – depending on which side you believed – he now appears on the new single from Enemy Radio. Enemy Radio (or Public Enemy Radio) is the version of the hip hop outfit that has been performing without Flavor Flav for a number of years. Don’t worry, this is going to get even more confusing.

Flavor Flav appeared to send a cease-and-desist letter to his bandmates in February, after they were booked to perform – in their Radio guise – at a benefit for US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. He then claimed to have been fired from Public Enemy at large because he didn’t support Sanders. The group then denied this and said that he’d been dropped because “he always chose to party over work”.

That was all a big hoax though. A big hoax which, Chuck D said in an interview of Talib Kweli’s People’s Party podcast, was inspired by Orson Welles’ 1938 ‘The War Of The Worlds’ radio broadcast. Somehow. Because Flav is on this new Enemy Radio single. But not on the Enemy Radio album as a whole, as he’s not a member of Enemy Radio. But because he’s on it, the single is credited as featuring Public Enemy, because the full line up of Public Enemy is on it.

Maybe a statement from Chuck D will help clear all this up. He says: “So it’s 1 Apr 2020 and as we hoard food and empty store shelves, Chuck D and Flavor Flav hijack it as April ‘FlavChuck’ Day to end the HOAX with Enemy Radio’s new song, ‘Food As A Machine Gun’ – ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’ 2020 style”.

“That’s right”, he goes on, as if he’s answered any questions about this, “this is Enemy Radio featuring Public Enemy, with more around the corner: Enemy Radio’s debut album, ‘Loud Is Not Enough’, is here. ‘Food As A Machine Gun’ is the first taste, an attack on the food industrial machine that opens minds to the direct need, dependency and necessity – yet killer – of our current lives, taking inspiration from Kristin Lawless and her book ‘Formerly Known As Food'”.

April Fool’s Day law, of course, states that you have a twelve hour window from midnight to midday to get your gags in. You can’t start setting them up in February. Those are the rules. Also, I thought we’d all agreed that in this internet-fuelled everything-lives-on-forever age, and with the boom in year-round fake news, April Fool’s Day doesn’t work as a thing anymore.

Not to mention the fact that, given everything else that’s going on just now, we’d all forgotten about this Public Enemy dispute, and it seems quite bizarre to have carried it through to its perplexing conclusion.

Anyway, I don’t know if anyone – including Chuck D and Flavor Flav – has any idea what’s actually happened here. But the album, ‘Loud Is Not Enough’, is out on streaming services now. And you can listen to ‘Food As A Machine Gun’ here: