Public Enemy Say Flavor Flav Was Not Fired Over Politics, Has Been “On Suspension Since 2016”

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

Public Enemy Say Flavor Flav Was Not Fired Over Politics, Has Been “On Suspension Since 2016”

Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

There was bound to be some big political drama this week, but a less-expected subplot turns out to be the breakdown of Public Enemy. Last week, it was announced that Public Enemy Radio, Chuck D’s new offshoot of Public Enemy, would perform at Bernie Sanders’ rally in LA on this past Sunday. This led to Flavor Flav and his lawyer issuing a statement about Flav’s likeness supposedly being used to market this whole thing, which eventually led to Public Enemy firing him before the rally performance. Flavor Flav responded to the news on Twitter earlier today, criticizing Chuck D’s decision. While this is far from the first contentious moment between the two icons — Flavor Flav sued Chuck D back in 2017 — it seems like a Bernie Sanders rally was the final straw for the classic-era Public Enemy dynamic.

In his comments earlier, Flavor Flav bemoaned the idea that he was ousted after all this time, because of politics. Now, Public Enemy has responded, claiming that Flavor Flav was not fired over politics, and has in fact been on suspension since 2016. Here’s the band’s full statement:

Public Enemy did not part ways with Flavor Flav over his political views.

Flavor Flav has been on suspension since 2016 when he was MIA from the Harry Belafonte benefit in Atlanta, Georgia. That was the last straw for the group. He had previously missed numerous live gigs from Glastonbury to Canada, album recording sessions and photo shoots. He always chose to party over work.

Public Enemy Radio toured Europe and co-headlined with the Wu-Tang Clan in May 2019 without Flavor. They have also done numerous benefit shows without Flavor. While Public Enemy Radio was moving forward, Flavor Flav was starring on the reality show Growing Up Hip Hop New York, when an episode featured his children discussing an intervention and putting him into rehab.

It’s time to move on and everyone wishes Flavor well.

Who would’ve thought the implosion of Public Enemy would be making headlines this week, but there you have it.

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