NEW YORK — Public Enemy has abruptly fired founding member Flavor Flav following a public spat over the rap group’s plan to perform at a Bernie Sanders campaign event.
Public Enemy “will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the band said in a brief statement Sunday. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
”I need to get my ducks in a row before I know how to deal with this. It’s all brand new to me,” Flav said during a phone chat with the Review-Journal on Monday morning. “But I can’t be fired from my own group. Chuck D and all these people are jumping the gun with those words right now. That’s absurd. Me being fired is not true.”
The dispute kicked off when Flavor Flav and his attorney sent a cease-and-desist letter to Sanders’ campaign on Friday, arguing that a Sunday concert and campaign rally in Los Angeles by Public Enemy Radio had used Flavor Flav’s “unauthorized likeness, image, and trademarked clock.”
“While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” the letter states. “There is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”
In the band’s statement, the group said Public Enemy Radio — a Chuck D-led offshoot featuring DJ Lord, Jahi, and the S1Ws — would continue to perform and will release an album in April.
Chuck D over the weekend wrote on Twitter that his dispute with Flavor Flav stretched deep into the past and “my last straw was long ago.”
Flavor Flav recently sued Chuck D, alleging he hasn’t received a royalty check for their music, live shows or merchandise in several years.
The Review-Journal’s John Katsilometes contributed to this report.