UPDATE: The back and forth between Chuck D and Flavor Flav continued on Monday, as Flav pushed back against the idea that he was fired after he objected to the marketing surrounding Public Enemy Radio’s performance at a Bernie Sanders rally.
“@MrChuckD are you kidding me right now???,,,over Bernie Sanders??? 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,,,”
He added, “And .@MrChuckD,,,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,,,
PREVIOUSLY: Chuck D’s announcement that Public Enemy would split with Flavor Flav, in the wake of a dispute over a performance at Bernie Sanders’ rally on Sunday, was the culmination of years of tensions between the two performers.
Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio announced that they were “moving forward” without Flavor Flav, after his lawyer sent a letter to Sanders’ campaign objecting to the way that it was promoting the rally. Flavor Flav says that the campaign made it appear that all of Public Enemy was endorsing Sanders, when he had not.
Early on Monday, Chuck D tweeted, “Spoke @BernieSanders rally with @EnemyRadio. If there was a $bag, Flav would’ve been there front & center. He will NOT do free benefit shows. Sued me in court the 1st time I let him back in. His ambulance lawyer sued me again on Friday & so now he stays home & better find REHAB.”
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Chuck D holds the trademarks to the group, but he also has created an offshoot, Public Enemy Radio, which is the one that performed at the Sanders event.
On Twitter, he accused Flavor Flav of refusing to participate in benefit concerts.
“I heard I’m trending, like I care. I built @EnemyRadioRS so it does benefits & fundraisers … He said he never gonna do them. 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.”
He added, “93yr old @harrybelafonte could bust his ass come 3000 mls to present PublicEnemy its @rockhallinduction 2013 (many still are clueless on) & anyone feel that they cannot give a ounce of time to reciprocate that honor to his @Sankofa fundraiser-to judge a Bikini $how. #Ungrateful.”
He earlier wrote that his “last straw was long ago.”
Flavor Flav attorney Friedman said in a statement early on Monday, “Flav reached out in the interest of unity supporting Chuck’s right to speak his mind but without unnecessarily misleading the public. Unfortunately, for the time being, Chuck has opted to fire off an increasingly unhinged series of tweets. Including one where Chuck regards Flav as property (a car) he can park until he is ready to use him again. Now Chuck has opted to break up Public Enemy and fracture the movement more than three decades in the making to ‘move forward’ with Public Enemy RADIO.
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,” 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.
Earlier on Sunday, Flavor Flav 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.
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