“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the group, led by Chuck D, said in a statement on Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
An offshoot of Public Enemy, Public Enemy Radio is made up of Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws. They performed at Sanders’ rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday night.
But on Friday, Flavor Flav, one of the founding members of Public Enemy, sent a letter through his attorney to the campaign objecting to a “misleading narrative” that the entire group had endorsed Sanders.
“The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy,” attorney Matthew H. Friedman wrote in a letter to Sanders. “Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”
The event had been billed as a performance of Public Enemy Radio, but the word “Radio” was in very small type in a campaign poster.
Flavor Flav, whose real name is William Drayton, also is objecting to the “unauthorized use of his likeness, image and trademarked clock in promotional materials circulated by the campaign and its network of online operatives in support of Bernie’s upcoming rally.”
Friedman had asked that promotional materials make clear that it was Chuck D of Public Enemy performing, not Public Enemy itself.
The whole episode appears to have exacerbated tensions between Flavor Flav and Chuck D. In his letter to the Sanders campaign, Friedman warned that the promotion of the rally “threatens to divide Public Enemy and, in so doing, forever silence one of our nation’s loudest and most enduring voices for social change.”
On Twitter, Chuck D wrote on Sunday, “So I don’t attack FLAV on what he don’t know. I gotta leave him at the crib so y’all trying to fill his persona with some political aplomb is absolutely‘stupid’ Obviously I understand his craziness after all this damn time. Duh you don’t know him from a box of cigars or me either.”
His attorney noted that Chuck D owns the trademarks to Public Enemy.
Flavor Flav did not have an immediate comment to the statement from Public Enemy. Earlier on Sunday, he issued a statement that said, “Chuck and I were blessed to build something that wasn’t a dictatorship it was a movement based on the way we lived in our neighborhood and what we faced in our community…We faced poverty and violence and we were ignored by our government and the media — all we were left with was family. I don’t want our family and our movement broken up.