The clock around Flavor Flav’s neck says it’s time for him to infiltrate the Las Vegas DJ scene.
“I always DJ’d,” he says over noisy children while getting ready to go out to the Hard Rock.
The reality TV star-musician started spinning at 12 years old — long before the days of Public Enemy, the ’80s hip-hop group, including members Chuck D, Professor Griff, Khari Wynn and DJ Lord, that made him famous.
A lot has changed since then.
“Way back in the day, there was no mixers,” he says, explaining that technology has altered the industry.
The artist had to relearn his artistry to get back into the business.
“It comes down to computers,” which are not his forte, he admits.
Switching from a turntable to a laptop didn’t hold him back, though.
“It went well, it went good,” he says of his inaugural performance at Hard Rock’s Center Bar earlier this month.
The next time he spins there, Saturday, it will be his fiancee’s birthday, he said, so he is going all out.
Yes, after three seasons of “Flavor of Love,” a show about the musician’s romantic life and his quest to find the one, Flav is engaged to be married.
“I’ve always had love, you know,” he says, but this woman, whom he did not meet during the taping of any of the three seasons, changed his life.
“I met her before I started the show,” about 11 years ago, he says. She prompted his move to the Las Vegas Valley shortly thereafter.
“I always wanted to live in Vegas,” he says. Now he has resided in the city for more than a decade.
For celebrities, Flav says, it allows a more private and laid-back life than Los Angeles.
“I’m not moving,” he says.
But if that time ever came, he’d be the first to know.
“That’s American Express,” he says. “I don’t leave home without my clock.”
The infamous accessory worn by Flav is part of his identity, and would probably turn heads whether he were famous or not.
He doesn’t like to stand out, though, he says, and prefers to blend into the background. So, he spends most of his free time at an off-Strip casino rolling a ball into pins.
“I’m a bowling junkie,” he says, adding that you can find him four times a week at the South Point. “That’s my thing.”
It hasn’t always been that way. In recent years, Flav drew attention for behaving badly in Las Vegas.
In 2015, he was arrested for driving under the influence; in 2012, he was arrested for domestic violence; and last July, he was cited for having 100 pounds of illegal fireworks.
“Vegas can wipe you out quick,” he says. He faced other demons, namely gambling and nightclubs, when he first moved to Sin City.
“No more trouble for Flav,” he says. The father of seven is putting the past behind him.
“I’m trying to tell you, now I’m keeping my nose clean,” he says.
Every choice — good, bad or ugly — became a lesson learned, Flav says. There are no regrets.
“To tell you the truth, if I could do anything over again,” he says, “I would do nothing over again.”
There is one thing he’s going to do over again, and that’s spinning records.
“I’m gonna mix it up,” he says. Expect to hear old-school R&B, new hip-hop and the unexpected throughout his sets.
“I listen to everything, even things you don’t think I’d listen to,” he says, including classical and opera music. “Because I’m a musician.”
His favorite artist is Eminem.
“I would love to work with him,” he says, but his clock has not struck that time yet.
For now, his focus is on skyrocketing his DJ career, a possible new show and making it onto the big screen.
“My dream right now is to do movies,” he says — horror movies, specifically.
It’s a busy schedule for him, he says. Flav is also in a live band, the Flavortrons, and still tours with Public Enemy.
“When I come back to TV, you guys aren’t gonna be mad at me,” he says, promising that it’s going to be good. He wants the details to be a surprise but said it will be another reality show.
Balancing current projects with a family life comes easy to the hopeless romantic.
“At the end of the day, have fun,” he says.
Contact Kimberly De La Cruz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5244. Find her on Twitter: @KimberlyinLV