Hip hop legends Public Enemy have been together for over three decades and in one single tweet, Bernie Sanders was able to break them up this week — or so it seems.
The group fired founding member Flavor Flav after his legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Sanders’ campaign on Friday, arguing that Sunday’s concert and campaign rally in Los Angeles, hosted by Public Enemy Radio, had used Flav’s “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock.”
Public Enemy “will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the band said in a statement Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Flavor Flav responded on Twitter on Monday, addressing band leader Chuck D directly: “You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years OVER POLITICS?,” he wrote. “I’m very disappointed in you and your decisions right now.”
He added, “i didn’t sue you on Friday,,,i asked the @berniesanders campaign to correct misleading marketing,,,that’s all it was,,,I’m not your employee,,,i’m your partner,,,you can’t fire me,,,there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav,,,so let’s get it right Chuck” (see post below).
Flav also rejected accusations that he needs rehab for drug addiction, writing “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 shit like that.”
PE issued a new statement on Monday (Mar. 2) clarifying that it “did not part ways with Flavor Flav over his political views.”
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“Flavor Flav has been on suspension since 2016 when he was MIA from the Harry Belafonte benefit in Atlanta, Georgia. That was the last straw for the group. He had previously missed numerous live gigs from Glastonbury to Canada, album recording sessions and photo shoots. He always chose to party over work.”
“Public Enemy Radio toured Europe and co-headlined with the Wu-Tang Clan in May 2019 without Flavor,” it continues. “They have also done numerous benefit shows without Flavor. While Public Enemy Radio was moving forward, Flavor Flav was starring on the reality show ‘Growing up Hip-Hop New York,’ where an episode featured his children discussing an intervention and putting him into rehab.”
“It’s time to move on and everyone wishes Flavor well,” the statement concludes.