Rap icons Public Enemy are parting ways with longtime member Flavor Flav. In a statement to Pitchfork, the group wrote: “Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.” Flavor Flav was a member of Public Enemy for 37 years.
The news follows a cease and desist letter issued by Flavor Flav two days ago over Public Enemy performing at a Bernie Sanders rally in Los Angeles tonight (March 1). Flavor Flav claimed that the Sanders campaign circulated “the unauthorized use of [Flavor Flav’s] likeness, image and trademarked clock in promotional materials.”
The announcement from the Sanders campaign stated that the Los Angeles rally would feature a performance from Public Enemy Radio. The group distinguishes itself from Public Enemy in that the lineup features Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi, and the S1Ws. Flavor Flav is not a member of Public Enemy Radio.
Yesterday, Chuck D addressed the issue in a statement. “Flavor chooses to dance for his money and not do benevolent work like this,” he wrote. “He has a year to get his act together and get himself straight or he’s out.” Chuck D’s attorney added: “From a legal standpoint, Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark. He originally drew the logo himself in the mid-’80s, is also the creative visionary and the group’s primary songwriter, having written Flavor’s most memorable lines.”
Revist “Here’s How Candidates Can Use Songs in Their Campaigns, Even If Songwriters Don’t Like It” on the Pitch.