Hip hop icon Public Enemy Radio (formerly Public Enemy) has fired original member Flavor Flav. The firing stems from an argument between Flav and fellow founding member Chuck D in relation to a Bernie Sanders campaign rally in California.
Per reporting from Rolling Stone, there have been long-simmering issues between Flav and the rest of Public Enemy Radio. In a statement signed by group co-founder Chuck D and members DJ Lord, Jahi, James Bomb and Pop Diesel, the group said “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 and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the statement continued. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Chuck D elaborated further via Twitter following the rally.
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
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 2, 2020
The group’s statement also notes that it has played multiple shows, including a spring 2019 European tour with Wu-Tang Clan, without Flav while he was pursuing other endeavors, including the reality show Growing Up Hip-Hop. One episode featured his children discussing an intervention and putting him into rehab.
Chuck D had been billed as the performer for the Sanders rally, under the moniker Public Enemy Radio. It was unclear whether any Flav was expected or anticipated to perform at the event. On Friday, February 28, a day before the rally, Flav sent a cease-and-desist via his attorney to Sanders. Flav accused the presidential candidate of using his “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock” for the sake of promotion, despite the fact that Flav “has not endorsed any political candidate.” Flav also allegedly wrote Sanders a handwritten note reading, “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”
Despite the official departure of Flav, Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward. Their statement also promised a new album release in April.
Photo Credit: Marv Watson