Yeah, boyeee — Flavor Flav in the (court)house!
Public Enemy hypeman Flavor Flav has filed a lawsuit against his colleague Chuck D and others, claiming that he’s owed profits from his work with the pioneering rap group.
In the suit, Flav — real name: William J. Drayton — alleges that money and property rights have been usurped from the rap icon.
“This action involves the usurpation of money and property rights from Plaintiff William J. Drayton, known as ‘Flavor Flav.’ Drayton is recognized as one of the two key members of groundbreaking Hip Hop group Public Enemy. Public Enemy have been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and have sold tens of millions of records,” the suit reads. “Despite Drayton’s position in Public Enemy, the group’s management and related companies have for years attempted to minimize his role in the Public Enemy business, while continuing to rely upon Drayton’s fame and persona to market the brand.”
The suit alleges that Flav and Chuck D (real name: Carlton Ridenhour) had long agreed that the profits from the Public Enemy name would be shared between them. However, payments from Eastlink, Public Enemy’s business management firm, have “diminished to almost nothing, and Drayton has been refused accountings, even on the items bearing his likeness,” at the direction of Ridenhour.
Flav claims that merchandising deals for products including Public Enemy-branded watches, bicycles and Flavor Flav dolls have been struck, without Drayton’s consent or compensation to him.
The suit also claims that Drayton’s voice and image were used on Public Enemy’s latest album, June’s “Nothing Is Quick in the Desert,” without his consent. Drayton claims that he requested a fee of $75,000 to record the album, but only received $7,500.
Alleging copyright infringement and numerous other counts, the suit seeks unspecified damages.
TheWrap has reached out to Public Enemy for comment.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.