Public Enemy has dispensed with the services of Flavor Flav, firing him on Sunday.
Flavor Flav who has been a band member since its formation in 1985, is alleged to have fallen out with other band members over a planned performance at a Bernie Sanders rally.
Chuck D was the only other band member who remained from 1985, and the beef between him and Flav sees one of the longest and most colorful rap partnerships come to an end.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” said the band in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone on Sunday, “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Flavor Flav didn’t want Public Enemy to play at a political rally
The problem seems to have stemmed from Chuck D’s wish to perform at a political rally for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
On Friday, Flav’s lawyers sent a rather stern cease and desist letter to the Sanders campaign, suggesting that the performance at the rally would be portraying an unauthorized “likeness” and “image” of the 60-year-old rapper for political purposes.
The letter continued, “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.”
Flav is alleged to have included a handwritten note which stated: “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”
Core member Chuck D performed Sunday evening at the political rally under the Public Enemy Radio brand. Sanders used the band’s name and title of their song, Fight The Power, on promotional items.
Chuck D thinks Flavor Flav is motivated by money
After Flav’s lawyers sent the letter, Chuck D took to Twitter to argue that Flav was motivated by money, not politics.
“My last straw was long ago,” he wrote, “It’s not about Bernie with Flav… he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders and BernieSanders.”
… last final note the last final note was my last straw was long ago. It’s not about BERNIE with Flav… he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don’t know either. FLAV refused to support @Sankofa after @harrybelafonte inducted us. He don’t do that pic.twitter.com/5Ky9dTnzmd
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 1, 2020
Chuck D returned to Twitter later to say that if there had been a bag of money on offer then, “Flav would have been there front and center. He will not do benefit shows.”
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
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 2, 2020
Flavor Flav has a wide and varied resume, which includes many TV appearances, including on Growing Up Hip Hop: New York, and he has always been a controversial figure.
At the end of last year, his kids staged an intervention on Growing Up Hip Hop: New York in the hope of getting him sober. Unfortunately, he seemed uninterested in giving up booze at the time.
The iconic group formed in 1985 and its members included Flavor Flav, Chuck D, DJ Terminator X, and Professor Griff. They are perhaps best known for their 1988 hit Fight the Power.