Public Enemy Ousts Flavor Flav After Dispute Over Bernie Sanders Rally

Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy (hip hop group) performing on Belgrade Calling festival on June 27th 2012, in Belgrade, Serbia - By Marko Zamrznuti Tonovi

Public Enemy will be fighting the power without founding member Flavor Flav.

The legendary hip-hop group announced Sunday it is “moving forward” without the rapper, after he sent a cease-and-desist letter to Bernie Sanders objecting to a “misleading narrative” that the entire group had endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate, after Chuck D agreed to perform at a Sanders rally in Los Angeles.

“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the group said in a statement to the media. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”

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Tensions escalated among group members when Flavor Flav’s lawyer Matthew Friedman wrote Sanders Friday accusing his campaign of using the “unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock” of the rapper to promote a Sunday rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“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 stated. “The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”

A note at the end of the letter said: “Bernie, his name is Flavor Flav and he does NOT approve your message!”

The rally was touted as featuring a performance by Public Enemy Radio, but the word “Radio” was in tiny print on a campaign poster, leading many fans to believe Public Enemy would be performing.

Despite the controversy, Public Enemy Radio — a Chuck D-led offshoot featuring DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws — performed at Sunday night’s campaign event.

After the rally, Chuck D took to Twitter to say Flavor Flav is more concerned about money than politics.

“Spoke at @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 REHAB,” he wrote on Twitter.

Earlier Sunday, Chuck D tweeted: “It’s not about BERNIE with Flav… he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don’t know either.”