UPDATE: Public Enemy has apparently lost its Flavor.
Flavor Flav is now officially an alumnus of the group, according to a statement from the group reported by Rolling Stone. His firing follows a dispute with Chuck D over an appearance by a PE spinoff at a Bernie Sanders rally, which resulted in Flav sending a cease-and-desist order to the Sanders campaign.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the group said in a statement released Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Fans were quick to take to social media urging others not to blame Sanders for coming between the two, pointing out that the two have had issues with one another in and out of court for years.
On his Twitter account Sunday night, Chuck D tore into Flav, without explicitly confirming that he had ousted the more light-hearted member of the veteran hip-hop collective. He continued to assert that Flav is apolitical through and through — versus taking a principled stand on Sanders — and that his former cohort “would’ve been there front and center” at the candidate’s rally on Sunday in L.A., too, “if there was a $ bag.”
Chuck D also claimed in a late-night tweet that he was sued by Flav on Friday, although it’s not clear if he was referring to the cease-and-desist or an actual lawsuit, which has not previously been reported.
Chuck D’s latest Twitter comments: “Spoke @BernieSanders rally with @EnemyRadio. If there was a $bag, Flav would’ve been there front & center. He will NOT do free benefit shows. Sued me in court the 1st time I let him back in. His ambulance lawyer sued me again on Friday & so now he stays home & better find REHAB.”
He went into detail on why he formed Public Enemy Radio, as an offshoot group: “to get far away from that ridiculousness.” Whether he will just use the Public Enemy banner without the “Radio” addendum now that Flav has been pushed out remains to be seen.
“I heard I’m trending, like I care. I built @EnemyRadioRS so it does benefits & fundraisers … He said he never gonna do them. So his refusal to do @HarryBelafonte #ManyRiversFestival in Atlanta 2016 was my last time. I built Enemy Radio to get far away from that ridiculousness. … 93yr old @harrybelafonte could bust his ass come 3000 mls to present PublicEnemy its @rockhall induction 2013 (many still are clueless on) & anyone feel that they cannot give a ounce of time to reciprocate that honor to his @Sankofa fundraiser-to judge a Bikini $how. #Ungrateful”
Sunday’s statement said that the spinoff act Public Enemy Radio — which includes Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws, “taking it back to hip hop’s original DJ-and-turntablist foundation” — will be releasing an album, “Loud is Not Enough,” in April.
Variety‘s earlier story:
Senator Bernie Sanders has been issued a cease and desist from Flavor Flav after the rapper’s Public Enemy co-founder, Chuck D, was announced to perform at a Sanders rally under the group’s moniker.
The letter, sent by Flav’s lawyer to Sanders on Friday, asserts that the rally uses Flav’s “unauthorized likeness” and “image” to promote the event.
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view 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 states.
Flav added a handwritten message at the bottom of the note, saying “Hey Bernie, don’t do this,” with a drawing of his iconic clock.
Chuck D and Flav were two of the group’s founding members back in 1985. Flav left in 2009, while Chuck D has been the only constant member.
Read the full letter here.
Chuck D responded on Twitter to the legal drama, saying, “It’s not about Bernie with Flav” and that Flav doesn’t “know the difference between Barry Sanders or Bernie Sanders.” (Many Garth Brooks fans also mixed up the two Sanders last week).
Chuck D also cited Sanders’ focus on healthcare and childcare as the main reasons why he’s supporting the Democratic candidate. He posted on Twitter that the issues became priorities for him after his father passed away in 2016 and his granddaughter was born.