Chuck D announced in a statement that Public Enemy has booted its legendary hype man, Flavor Flav, from the group.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the group released in the statement Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
The move came days after Flavor Flav sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bernie Sanders to force the presidential hopeful to stop using his “unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock” to promote a campaign rally yesterday in Los Angeles in which Public Enemy performed, according to Rolling Stone.
But Chuck D said it was brewing for years.
On Twitter, Chuck D said his relationship with Flavor Flav was strained years ago.
“… my last straw was long ago,” Chuck D wrote. “It’s not about BERNIE with Flav… he don’t know the difference between Barry Sanders or Bernie Sanders. He don’t know either. FLAV refused to support Sankofa after Harry Belafonte inducted us. He don’t do that.”
Belafonte started Sankofa to help fight for injustices around the country.
… 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
The letter Flav’s lawyer Matthew Friedman sent to the Sanders’ campaign expressed that the iconic hype man had not endorsed a candidate for president and that Chuck D’s voice backing Sanders is his alone.
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” Flav’s cease-and-desist letter said.
“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.
“Flav … has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle. …The continued publicizing of this grossly misleading narrative is, at a minimum, careless and irresponsible if not intentionally misleading,” Friedman continued in the letter.
“It is unfortunate that a political campaign would be so careless with the artistic integrity of such iconoclastic figures in American culture.”
The letter included a note at the bottom written by Flav that said simply: “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”
But Chuck D’s lawyer countered saying, “From a legal standpoint, Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark. He originally drew the logo himself in the mid-80s, is also the creative visionary and the group’s primary songwriter, having written Flavor’s most memorable lines.”
Public Enemy Radio, which featured DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws, performed at Sanders rally on Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center.