The latest problems for the legendary group started last week after it was announced that Public EnemyRadio — Chuck D’s offshoot of Public Enemy — would be playing at a political rally for Bernie Sanders in Los Angeles on March 1.
Public EnemyRadio consists of Chuck D, his music provider DJ Lord, Jahi from the group PE 2.0 and the SW1s.
Before the performance, Flavor Flav sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Sanders campaign for using his “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock.”
“To be clear Flav, and by extension the Hall of Fame hip hop act Public Enemy, with which his likeness and name have become synonymous, has not endorsed any political candidate in this election and any suggestion to the contrary is plainly untrue,” read a letter from attorney Matthew H. Friedman.
“The continued publicizing of this grossly misleading narrative is, at a minimum, careless and irresponsible if not intentionally misleading,” the letter continued.
On Sunday, March 1, Chuck issued a statement and terminated the group’s long-time hypeman, who’s been in Public Enemy for more than three decades.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” Chuck stated. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Then on Twitter, Chuck said that Flavor wasn’t fired for not endorsing Sanders. In the tweet, Chuck credits the decision to Flavor Flav’s stance, he said, on performing at benefits and fundraisers. The new group Public Enemy Radio has said that Flavor Flav missed an Atlanta benefit for singer and activist Harry Belafonte and other gigs as well as recording sessions and photo shoots.
“I built @EnemyRadioRS so it does benefits & fundraisers … He said he never gonna do them,” Chuck tweeted. “So his refusal to do @HarryBelafonte #ManyRiversFestival in Atlanta 2016 was my last time. I built Enemy Radio to get far away from that ridiculousness.”
Flavor fired off a series of tweets in response to Chuck, and said his former group member really let him down.
“@MrChuckD are you kidding me right now??? Over Bernie Sanders???” wrote Flavor on March 2. “You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years OVER POLITICS???,,,all because I don’t wanna endorse a candidate,,,I’m very disappointed in you and your decisions right now Chuck.”
Another tweet read, “Also @MrChuckD,,, i’m not on drugs like you’re saying and have been clean for 10 years. I have battled addiction before and like millions of other Americans I know the massive toll it takes,,,Chuck you know better than to lie about s–t like that.”
“I’m not your employee,,,i’m your partner,,,you can’t fire me,,,” Flavor continued. “There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav,,,so let’s get it right Chuck.”