It was a rough weekend for Public Enemy. Last week, it was announced that Public Enemy would play a Bernie Sanders rally on March 1. following this, PE's Flavor Flav sent the Sanders campaign a cease and desist stating that the campaign did not have the authority to use Flav's likeness and other intellectual property. The letter made it clear that Flav has not endorsed any political candidate: "Flav has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle. The continued publicizing of this grossly misleading narrative is, at a minimum, careless and irresponsible if not intentionally misleading. It is unfortunate that a political campaign would be so careless with the artistic integrity of such iconoclastic figures in American culture.” Although the cease and desist was sent by Flav's attorneys, Flav personally signed the letter, stating "Bernie, don't do this!"
Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Public Enemy (proper) was not playing the Sanders rally, but rather, the Public Enemy off-shoot Public Enemy Radio was playing the event. Public Enemy Radio, which seems to have been formed specifically for the event, includes Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws (which is essentially Public Enemy minus Flava Flav and Professor Griff, plus Jahi).
Chuck D/Public Enemy then announced that Flavor Flav had been dismissed from the group in a press release. They stated: "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.”
Just before the firing, but after the C&D was issued, on Twitter, Chuck D addressed the issue directly. He stated: "Flavor chooses to dance for his money and not do benevolent work like this. He has a year to get his act together and get himself straight or he’s out.” A lawyer for Chuck D 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.”
Late last night, Chuck D continued on Twitter: "Spoke @BernieSanders rally with @EnemyRadio. If there was a $bag, Flav would’ve been there front & center. He will NOT do free benefit shows. Sued me in court the 1st time I let him back in. His ambulance lawyer sued me again on Friday & so now he stays home & better find REHAB"
Over the past few years, Chuck D and Flavor Flav have been butting heads. A couple of years ago, Flav filed a suit against Chuck D and Public Enemy stating that the Nothing is Quick in the Desert album was released without his consent. We'll keep you updated.