It’s official. Public Enemy will be moving on without Flava Flav after a dispute concerning Public Enemy Radio’s decision to perform at a Bernie Sanders’ rally. Flava Flav expressed his disapproval of former bandmate Chuck D’s decision to use the group’s name for an endorsement he didn’t sign off on.
The Bernie Sanders rally took place yesterday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. It featured celebrity appearances by Dick Van Dyke and Sarah Silverman as well as a performance by Public Enemy Radio, a group consisting of Public Enemy’s Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and S1Ws.
Flava Flav slammed former bandmate Chuck D and the Bernie Sanders party. He followed up with a cease and desist letter accusing the band and campaign of deceptive marketing.
As a result, the Public Enemy camp released the following statement yesterday, “Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving on without Flava Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Flava Flav was disappointed with Chuck D’s decision to break up the band. His lawyer, Matthew H. Friedman of Ford & Friedman released a response to Chuck’s move to dissolve the unit which was as follows.
“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 a series of increasingly unhinged tweets, including one where he regards Flav as property (a car) he can park until he is ready to use him again. Chuck may own the name Public Enemy but all you had to do was look at the masses of clock-wearing fans pouring out of the rally to know there is no Public Enemy without Flava Flav.
Flava Flav founded Public Enemy with Chuck D back in 1985. With Flava Flav out of the picture, Chuck D will be the only remaining original member of the band.
Flava Flav’s statement expressed his disappointment with Chuck D’s decision to break up the band. In this excerpt, he talks about what the band meant to him.
“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. ... I hope that Public Enemy can get back to doing the good works we have done for 30 years ... not for money but for people like me who have been denied their rights to participate because of (expletive) policies."
The statement also went on to criticize Sanders for his decision to move forward with, what Flav and his lawyers consider to be ‘deceptive marketing’ practices.
"It is unfortunate that a political campaign would be so careless with the artistic integrity of such iconoclastic figures in American culture," Friedman’s statement read. "Sanders claims to represent 'everyman' not 'the man' yet his grossly irresponsible handling of Chuck's endorsement threatens to divide Public Enemy and, in doing so, forever silences one of our nation's loudest and most enduring voices for social change. Bernie, his name is Flava Flav and he does not approve this message.”
Lots of drama in the world of Public Enemy today. We can only wait to see whether Chuck D and Flava Flav will be able to move past their differences at some time in the future.