Public Enemy, a Hip-Hop group that got its start in the 1980s, has ousted one of its most recognizable figures in Flavor Flav after nearly four decades as a crew. The rift began when Flava sent a cease-and-desist letter to the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders that took place this weekend over frontman Chuck D performing with the Public Enemy Radio outfit at a political rally for the presidential hopeful.
At issue was Flava, born William Drayton, stating that Chuck D using the Public Enemy name to perform at the Sanders rally was done so without his approval and was labeled as “deceptive marketing.” Public Enemy Radio, consisting of the aforementioned lead rapper, DJ Lord, and Jahi and the S1Ws, was booked for the Sunday (March 1) performance. As noted by The Washington Post, it was clearly depicted in promotional imagery that the appearance at the Los Angeles Convention Center was not considered to be a performance by the original group.
Chuck D, real name Carlton Ridenhour, gave a statement to Pitchfork in response to the cease-and-desist letter 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.”
In addition, Chuck D’s attorney said that the rapper owns the trademark to the Public Enemy name and created the group’s iconic logo thus he has the sole right to use the name as he sees fit. In recent times, Flava Flav has sued Chuck D and Public Enemy of alleged missing royalties and the like but it did not contribute to the demise of the group.