Public Enemy 'moving forward without' Flavor Flav after spat over Bernie Sanders endorsement
"We thank him for his years of service and wish him well," Public Enemy said in a statement obtained by EW.
Public Enemy is parting ways with one of its founding members, Flavor Flav, EW confirmed on Sunday. Two days prior, the rapper filed a cease-and-desist letter to the Bernie Sanders campaign after Chuck D announced the group would perform at the presidential candidate's rally today.
Rolling Stone first reported Flav's exit from the group.
"Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav," the rap group said in a statement on Sunday. "We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”
Flav and Chuck D founded the group in the mid-'80s, with other members joining after. In their statement, Public Enemy Radio — a Chuck D-led offshoot with DJ Lord, Jahi, and the S1Ws — maintained its performance at Sanders' rally would go on (which it did). They also revealed the group is releasing a new album, Loud Is Not Enough, in April.
Earlier on Sunday, Chuck D shared a series of tweets about the conflict, claiming that the split was a long time coming, citing a past situation when Flav refused to support the Harry Belafonte-founded Sankofa nonprofit organization.
"The last final note was my last straw was long ago," he first wrote. "It’s not about BERNIE with Flav... he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don’t know either."
In another tweet, Chuck D implied he was done putting up with Flav's "craziness," adding that his former groupmate didn't live up to the politically aware reputation that Public Enemy has long been known for.
A day after Public Enemy Radio announced they'd be performing at Sunday's Sanders' rally, Flav sent a cease-and-desist letter, emphasizing that it was only Chuck D who endorsed Sanders, and not the rest of Public Enemy.
"While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy," the letter read. "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."
EW reached out to representatives for Chuck D and Flavor Flav for further comment.
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