Following a public spat relating to a performance at a Bernie Sanders rally, Public Enemy have released a statement saying that Flavor Flav’s departure from the band was not about politics.
Chuck D ended up performing alone at Sunday’s rally as Public Enemy Radio. Flavor Flav had previously attempted to halt the performance on the grounds that Bernie Sanders wasn’t allowed to use the band’s image without his permission, stating that he “has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle”.
The episode led to Chuck D and Flavor Flav trading barbs on Twitter.
Spoke @BernieSanders rally with @EnemyRadio. 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 REHABMarch 2, 2020
.@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,,,March 2, 2020
The new official public statement has been signed by Public Enemy’s current members and says: “Public Enemy did not part ways with Flavor Flav over his political views.
“Flavor Flav has been on suspension since 2016 when he was MIA from the Harry Belafonte benefit in Atlanta, Georgia. That was the last straw for the group. He had previously missed numerous live gigs from Glastonbury to Canada, album recording sessions and photo shoots. He always chose to party over work.
“Public Enemy Radio toured Europe and co-headlined with the Wu-Tang Clan in May 2019 without Flavor. They have also done numerous benefit shows without Flavor.
“While Public Enemy Radio was moving forward, Flavor Flav was starring on the reality show "Growing up Hip-Hop New York,” where an episode featured his children discussing an intervention and putting him into rehab.
“It’s time to move on and everyone wishes Flavor well.”
This seemingly brings to an end a 35-year working relationship between Chuck D and Flavor Flav, who met at university in the mid-’80s and went on to achieve critical acclaim and commercial success with a series of politically-charged albums.