Yesterday, hours before taking the stage at a campaign rally supporting Bernie Sanders, Chuck D fired Public Enemy co-founding member Flavor Flav. The decision followed a public spat between the two hip-hop legends, which began when Flavor Flav issued a cease and desist warning over Public Enemy’s participation in the rally. Specifically, Flavor Flav accused Sanders’ campaign of misrepresenting his own involvement in the event, as only Chuck D was scheduled to perform.

In response, Chuck D publicly rebuked Flavor Flav, saying in a statement that he “chooses to dance for his money” and warned him that “he has a year to get his act together and get himself straight or he’s out.” Chuck D’s lawyer also issued a stern warning to Flavor Flav reminding him that “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.”

On Sunday, Flavor Flav responded in kind, saying in his own statement that “Chuck and I were blessed to build something that wasn’t a dictatorship it was a movement based on the way we lived in our neighborhood and what we faced in our community.”


He then went on to question Chuck D’s mental state: “I am a little worried about my partner Chuck, I hope he is ok and that Public Enemy can get back to doing the good works we have done for 30 years… not for money but for people like me who have been denied their rights to participate because of bullshit policies.”

Within hours, Flavor Flav was out of Public Enemy. “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,” the group said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

Chuck D then took the stage at Sanders’ rally in Los Angeles, where he performed Public Enemy songs like “Fight the Power”, “Bring the Noise”, and “Can’t Truss It”.


Afterward, Chuck D further addressed Flavor Flav’s firing in a series of postings to Twitter. “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,” he wrote.

Chuck D also emphasized that Flavor Flav’s firing was not solely due to their dispute over Sanders’ rally. In actuality, Chuck D said the “last straw” was when Flavor Flav failed to support Harry Belafonte’s criminal justice organization Sankofa after Belafonte inducted Public Enemy into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“@harrybelafonte could bust his ass come 3000 mls to present PublicEnemy its @rockhall induction 2013 ( many still are clueless on) & anyone feel that they cannot give a ounce of time to reciprocate that honor to his @Sankofa fundraiser-to judge a Bikini $how. #Ungrateful,” Chuck D tweeted.


Though his lawyer, Flavor Flav addressed his dismissal from Public Enemy, saying: “Flav reached out in the interest of unity supporting Chuck’s right to speak his mind but without unnecessarily misleading the public. Unfortunately, for the time being, Chuck has opted to fire off an increasingly unhinged series of tweets. Including one where Chuck regards Flav as property (a car) he can park until he is ready to use him again. Now Chuck has opted to break up Public Enemy and fracture the movement more than three decades in the making to ‘move forward’ with Public Enemy RADIO.” (Public Enemy Radio is an iteration of the group featuring Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi, and S1Ws.)

“Chuck may own the name Public Enemy but all you had to do was look at the masses of clock wearing fans pouring out of the Rally when Public Enemy RADIO started to play to know that there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”

Update: Flavor Flav has responded yet again, this time on Twitter. “@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,,,”


“Also @MrChuckD,,,i’m not on drugs like you’re saying and have been clean for 10 years,,,i have battled addiction before and like millions of other Americans I know the massive toll it takes,,,Chuck you know better than to lie about shit like that,,,,”

Read Chuck D’s and Flavor Flav’s latest tweets below.