Did Bernie break up legendary hip hop group Public Enemy?

by WorldTribune Staff, March 3, 2020

Is Bernie Sanders responsible for taking the Flavor out of Public Enemy?

It seems the group’s Chuck D is a huge Bernie fan. But Flavor Flav is not.

From left, Flavor Flav, Chuck D, and Bernie Sanders

When it was announced that the legendary hip hop group would perform at a Sanders rally in Los Angeles, the famous clock-wearing Flavor Flav issued a cease and desist order.

“The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy,” attorney Matthew H. Friedman wrote in a letter to Sanders. “Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”

Friedman’s letter added: “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.”

Flav also objected to the “unauthorized use of his likeness, image and trademarked clock in promotional materials circulated by the campaign and its network of online operatives in support of Bernie’s upcoming rally.”

Chuck D responded by saying that the performance would go on and issued an ultimatum for Flavor Flav to get his act together.

Chuck D issued a statement to Billboard saying “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 also told the publication that Chuck D is the sole owner of the trademark.

The Sanders campaign said the performance would be by Public Enemy Radio, which is essentially Public Enemy minus Flavor Flav.

“Remember that time Yoko Ono (allegedly) broke up the Beatles? And remember that time Bernie Sanders broke up Public Enemy?” Alex Parker wrote for RedState on March 2.

“That’s right — the democratic socialist has found himself at the center of the dissolution of one of hip hop’s most (in)famous groups. And when I say they’ve broken up, I mean the organization has fired its famed eccentric clock-wearer, Flavor Flav.”

Public Enemy rose to prominence following their 1989 hit “Fight the Power”, which served as the theme to Spike Lee’s Oscar-nominated Do the Right Thing.

After the alleged firing of Flavor Flav, the group includes Chuck D, DJ Lord and Professor Griff.

“As it turns out, Mr. D — who’s always been about revolution, and not necessarily the peaceful kind (he once called the 1963 civil rights march ‘a bit of nonsense’) — is a big fan of Bernie’s version of hope and change,” Parker wrote.

Flavor Flav, on the other hand, doesn’t “know the difference between Barry Sanders or Bernie Sanders,” Chuck D tweeted.

Flav definitely knows who President Donald Trump is, having had this to say at South by Southwest in 2016:

“I’m not really the politician of the group. There’s a lot of people talking a lot of shit about Trump, but guess what? He’s winning. The man is winning. I ain’t gonna lie, but listen, the United States has been ran a certain way for decades and decades and decades. You never know: Maybe Trump could possibly do something. Maybe he might step in office and do something. I’m not going to doubt him. … [H]e’s winning fairly, but they still don’t want him to be president. They’re going to try to block that man from being president. If Donald Trump does become president, there’s only one thing we all can do: just sit back and let the man do his job.”

That was after Chuck D had yelled during their show, “Black Lives Matter! F— Donald Trump!”

That 2016 flare-up seemed to be the straw that led to the final straw of Flav refusing to endorse Sanders. On Sunday, Public Enemy issued a statement saying: “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 tweeted on March 2: “.@MrChuckD are you kidding me right now???,,,over Bernie Sanders??? You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years OVER POLITICS???,,,all because I don’t wanna endorse a candidate,,,I’m very disappointed in you and your decisions right now Chuck.”

Some fans were disappointed as well, with one tweeting: “I know Flav has issues but to shit on the brother over an old white dude is something I thought I’d never see from PE….like ever.”

Parker noted: “So there ya go — Bernie and Yoko. The muses that broke up the bands.”


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