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Public Enemy Radio perform at Bernie Sanders rally, fire Flavor Flav from Public Enemy

After a conflict over Public Enemy’s perceived endorsement of Bernie Sanders, Chuck D and co. parted ways with founding member Flavor Flav.

March 02, 2020
Public Enemy Radio perform at Bernie Sanders rally, fire Flavor Flav from Public Enemy Rick Kern/Getty Images for Samsung

Public Enemy Radio — a subsidiary of Public Enemy featuring only Chuck D — were scheduled to perform at a Bernie Sanders rally in California on Sunday, ahead of this week’s Super Tuesday Democratic primaries. Shortly after the performance was announced, though, founding Public Enemy member Flavor Flav issued a cease and desist to Sanders’ campaign, complaining that he had not authorized for the Sanders campaign to use his likeness. “While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit, his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” he wrote in a statement. “Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.”

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Chuck D went ahead with the performance at Sanders’ rally, though, and issued a statement of his own, writing through a representative that he “could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark … [and] is also the creative visionary and the group’s primary songwriter, having written Flavor’s most memorable lines.” Shortly after, Public Enemy issued another statement to Pitchfork, which noted that Flav had been fired from the group. “Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav,” the statement reads. “We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.” Watch footage of Public Enemy Radio performing at the Sanders rally below at 39:00.

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Public Enemy Radio perform at Bernie Sanders rally, fire Flavor Flav from Public Enemy