U.S. Politics has divided one of America's favorite hip hop music groups: Public Enemy. On Sunday, Chuck D and the remaining members of the group fired Flavor Flav after he denounced their rally with Senator Bernie Sanders. The dispute has rap music fans in awe.
"Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav," read a public statement by Chuck D and his bandmates this weekend. "We thank him for his years of service and wish him well."
The news came days after Flavor Flav denounced Chuck D's plans to perform at a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign rally in Los Angeles, California. The event was called "Fight the Power," and featured Chuck D's offshoot of the group, Public Enemy Radio.
Last year I woke up thinking the establishment had successfully squashed Bernie Sanders'. Today I woke up to see Bernie is holding a rally with PUBLIC ENEMY, and they used one of my photos on the poster?! Honored beyond words. pic.twitter.com/8ytKxkaaLU— Arun Chaudhary (@ArunChaud) February 27, 2020
On Friday, Flavor Flav's lawyer, Matthew Friedman issued a cease-and-desist letter to the Sanders campaign, according to a report by The Week. It stated that that the promotional for the posted contained an "unauthorized likeness, image" of Flavor Flavor Flav, and his "trademarked clock." It noted that Flavor Flav "has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle."
"While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy," the statement went on. "The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. ... There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav."
"Hey Bernie, don't do this," Flavor Flav reportedly added at the bottom.
Chuck D responded in a statement published by Rolling Stone, initially suggesting he would give Flavor Flav a year to reconsider before firing him from the musical group.
"Flavor chooses to dance for his money and not do benevolent work like this. He has a year to get his act together and get himself straight or he's out," he said.
However, he apparently decided it could not wait that long. He issued a statement through his own lawyer, asserting that he "is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark" and therefore "could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to." However, he went into more detail on Twitter.
Last text for me today... time to Get Off My Ass ....I suggest to all the same even this Sunday if you think it's important... pic.twitter.com/NxLlvM4hyi— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 1, 2020
On Sunday, Chuck D made many posts about politics, activism and matters concerning Public Enemy.
He wrote that "it's not about BERNIE with Flav... He don't know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don't know either. ...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."