Hip-hop group Public Enemy clarified its decision to split from rapper Flavor Flav, saying it hadn’t been fired for his political views.
The group said their co-founder has been “suspended” since 2016, when he did not participate in a benefit show.
“This was the last drop for the group. It had previously missed numerous Glastonbury live concerts in Canada, album recording sessions and photo shoots.”
They finally split after a dispute over a Bernie Sanders rally this weekend.
Public Enemy Radio – an offspring of the main group – had been booked to play the event in Los Angeles, but Flavor Flav sent a cease and desist letter to the Sanders campaign, saying it “only approved no political candidate in this electoral cycle “.
Chuck D, who co-founded the group in the 1980s, responded by saying that his former group mate “did not know the difference between [American football player] Barry Sanders or Bernie Sanders “, and just wasn’t prepared to play a free benefit concert.
The other members of the group later issued a statement saying “they would move on without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him luck.”
Flavor, whose real name is William Drayton, formed Public Enemy after meeting Chuck D at university in the 1980s.
A self-taught piano prodigy, he was chosen as the humorous companion of Chuck’s Fire and Sulfur MC, occasionally stealing the spotlight on songs like Too Much Posse and Cold Lampin ‘with Flavor.
He objected to his dismissal from the group, insisting that the split was motivated by political reasons.
“Chuck D, are you kidding right now?” he wrote on Twitter. “Do you want to destroy something that we have built in 35 years on politics? All because I do not want to approve a candidate? I am very disappointed with you and your decisions at the moment.”
After Chuck D suggested that he had “an interest in finding a drug rehab”, Flavor replied that he was “not drugged” and that he had been “clean for 10 years”.
Flavor also denied having continued with the Sanders campaign, saying it had only sought to “correct misleading marketing” which suggested that it supported the candidate.
“I am not your employee, I am your partner,” he concluded. “You can’t fire me. There is no public enemy without Flavor Flav – so let’s do it right, Chuck.”
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