Veteran hip hop group Public Enemy are “moving forward” without longtime member Flavor Flav following a disagreement over a Bernie Sanders rally.
The rift between the members surfaced last week after member Chuck D performed at Sanders’ rally under the moniker Public Enemy Radio. According to Rolling Stone, Flav issued a cease-and-desist letter against Sanders, which accused the politician of using the rapper’s likeness, image and trademarked clock for promotional material in his presidential campaign without his permission.
In his letter, which Flav sent through his lawyer Matthew Friedman, he claimed that Public Enemy’s endorsement of the presidential candidate was false and that only Chuck was supporting Sanders. “While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit—his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” the statement read. Flav also added that Sanders’ campaign marketing was a “grossly misleading narrative.”
Following Flavr’s letter, Public Enemy soon announced that they were parting ways with the rapper, saying that they’d like to “thank him for his years of service and wish him well,” per Pitchfork. The group later issued a new statement—which was signed by all other remaining members Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi, James Bomb and Pop Diesel—that clarified the group didn’t part ways with Flav “over his political views.” They claimed that the rapper’s constant absence from the group was the reason behind his sudden dismissal.
“Flavor Flav has been on suspension since 2016 when he was MIA from the Harry Belafonte benefit in Atlanta, Georgia,” their joint statement reads. “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.”
They continued, “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, where an episode featured his children discussing an intervention and putting him into rehab.” The members concluded their statement by wishing Flavor well and encouraging others to “move on.”