Don’t Believe The Hype: Chuck D Says Flavor Flav Split was a Stunt to Promote New Public Enemy Radio Music
Chuck D on Flavor Flav: “He can’t [be fired], he’s a partner. You can’t fire partners. You just walk away from ’em.”
So, uh, April Fools Day?
Last month, Chuck D announced that he was kicking Flavor Flav out of Public Enemy after 35 years of collaborating. The reason? Because Flavor Flav filed a cease and desist order against the Bernie Sanders campaign for using the group’s name and likeness to promote a concert Public Enemy Radio was doing for the presidential candidate.
Now, it turns out, it was all a ruse to tease new music.
On Wednesday, April 1, Chuck D released a new Enemy Radio album called Loud Is Not Enough. The first single from the album is “Food as a Machine Gun,” which features both Chuck D and Flavor Flav. At the same time the album was released, Talib Kweli dropped a clip teasing the latest episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli. The episode, which was recorded on March 10, features a discussion with Chuck D. During the clip, Chuck revealed that Flavor Flav was never kicked out of Public Enemy. In fact, Chuck said, “He can’t [be kicked out], he’s a partner. You can’t fire partners. You just walk away from ’em.”
Chuck said the whole situation was a ruse to get people’s attention for the album, which Flav has been working with Chuck on since February. Chuck D was inspired by Orson Welles’ famous War of the Worlds hoax (where Welle went on radio and told the audience they were getting evaded by UFOs.) Chuck said that he felt Flav’s “stock” had been “low” and that his had been high, with the success of his group Prophets of Rage.
He then went into detail on how everything played out:
His lawyer sent out a cease and desist. I’m like, “Good move.” Then, publicly: “Man, you don’t fuckin’ sue me again.” He ain’t suin’ me. But I can say it! If the public is confused about this, that, whatever — they’re gonna be confused about what’s a lawsuit and what’s not. “Yo, man, you suing me again publicly? Boom. Fuck that. You’re fired dude. This is my last thing with you.” OK. We knew what was gonna come. I’m not sayin’ it’s a hoax, I’m sayin’ that the original intention is to get your attention and not play attention, but get you to pay attention.
Chuck capped things off by saying him “and Flav have been better than ever.”
In a press release for the album, Chuck D said:
So it’s April 1, 2020 and as we hoard food and empty store shelves, Chuck D and Flavor Flav hijack it as April ‘FlavChuck’ Day to end the HOAX with Enemy Radio’s new song, “Food as a Machine Gun” ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’ 2020 style…That’s right, this is Enemy Radio featuring Public Enemy, with more around the corner: Enemy Radio’s debut album, Loud Is Not Enough, is here. “Food as a Machine Gun” is the first taste, an attack on the food industrial machine that opens minds to the direct need, dependency and necessity — yet killer — of our current lives, taking inspiration from Kristin Lawless and her book, Formerly Known As Food.
So, uhh, April ‘FlavChuck’ Day, I guess.
Check out the clip of People’s Party below. (The full interview drops on Monday, April 6th.) Listen to Enemy Radio’s new album Loud is Not Enough below.