Last month, Chuck D announced in a statement that Public Enemy had 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 said in a statement. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
It turns out the public feud was nothing more than a stunt they planned to help promote their new album Loud Is Not Enough.
During an interview with Talib Kweli on the Uproxx podcast People’s Party (recorded on March 10), the emcee said the hoax was inspired by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds.
“We felt that over the past few years, Flavor’s stock was low,” Chuck said. “Anybody that could take a shot at him could get a good shot at him.”
He proceeded to explain how the whole ordeal played out in the media.
“We already talked about this beforehand. Public Enemy Radio went up [at the Bernie Sanders rally]. His lawyer sent out a cease and desist. I’m like, ‘Good move.’ Then, publicly: ‘Man, you don’t fuckin’ sue me again.’ He ain’t suin’ me. But I can say it!” he said.
“If the public is confused about this, that, whatever—they’re gonna be confused about what’s a lawsuit and what’s not. ‘Yo, man, you suing me again publicly? Boom. Fuck that. You’re fired dude. This is my last thing with you.’ OK. We knew what was gonna come,” he said. “I’m not sayin’ it’s a hoax, I’m sayin’ that the original intention is to get your attention and not play attention, but get you to pay attention.”
“He can’t, he’s a partner. You can’t fire partners. You just walk away from ’em.”
Chuck D insists that this was all a well-crafted scheme to promote an album that few knew was coming.
“There’s a select few that do know—that I had to let know—that me and Flav have been better than ever, he said. ” We takin’ April Fools…We takin’ it over. It’s April Flav Chuck Day.”
Along with the release of the new song and album, Chuck released a statement further explaining the prank. “Does it take doing crazy sht or catastrophe to wake people up,” he wrote. “Obviously so, even when paying attention is the cheapest price to pay.”
Loud Is Not Enough is out now and it features a single with Chuck and Flav called “Food as a Machine Gun.”