Well folks, it looks like Public Enemy has stopped the clock.
Rolling Stone reports that the iconic rap collective has officially fired longtime hype man, Flavor Flav, after more than 35 years with the group. P.E. issued a brief statement, 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.”
The firing comes after Flav (real name William Drayton) issued a cease-and-desist letter after it was announced that Public Enemy Radio – a spinoff group led by leader Chuck D. – would be a part of a rally held by Sen. Bernie Sanders, in support of his bid for the U.S Presidency. The letter, sent by attorney Matthew Friedman, accused the Sanders Campaign of using “unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock” to promote the rally, even though Flavor Flav “has not endorsed any political candidate.”
The letter states, “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.”
Chuck D. fired back, saying, “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.” His attorney added that Chuck, as the sole owner of the P.E. trademark, could perform with the name as he wishes.
On Twitter, Chuck pointed out that this letter is just one reason why Flav was kicked out of the group, stating the following:
“My last straw was long ago. 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 (a grassroots organization for social justice) after Harry Belafonte (the organization’s founder) inducted us. He don’t do that.”
“If there was a $bag, Flav would’ve been there front & center. He will NOT do free benefit shows. 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.”