Flavor Flav has been kicked out of Public Enemy after more than 35 years in the hip-hop group. The decision came following the a cease and desist letter the hypeman sent to Bernie Sanders for using his likeness at a Los Angeles rally this weekend.
“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the group, which is lead by Chuck D, wrote in a statement Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Flavor Flav’s lawyer, Matthew Friedman, sent the cease and desist letter, which you can read here, to Sanders on Friday ahead of Sunday’s tall. The hypeman took issue with his likeness being used to promote a performance by Chuck D, who has publicly endorsed Sanders for the Democratic nominee for president.
In the letter, Flavor Flav protested the use of his “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock” to endorse Sanders, insisting that he had not identified himself with any candidate.
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” the letter said. “The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is. There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”
Flavor Flav wrote in a hand-written note at the bottom of the letter, “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”
Sanders’ campaign announced a March 1 stop in Los Angeles last week with a poster using the title of Public Enemy’s famed song “Fight the Power” as a call to action for his campaign. The poster also said the rally, which was held Sunday at the Los Angeles Convention Center, would be Bernie Sanders and Public Enemy.
Chuck D expressed his reasons for firing his bandmate on Twitter Sunday.
“… last final note the last final note was my last straw was long ago. It’s not about BERNIE with Flav… he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don’t know either. FLAV refused to support @Sankofa after @harrybelafonte inducted us. He don’t do that,” he wrote.
“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,” he continued.