Flavor Flav is trading jabs with Public Enemy over his firing Sunday, following a letter his attorney sent to Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign disavowing the iconic hip-hop group's performance under that name at a campaign rally.
"I laughed," at the news of his firing, Flav, 60, said in a video interview posted by Us Weekly Tuesday and attributed to TMX.News, a website describing itself as an "exchange built for journalists … to distribute and acquire raw news content." "And the reason why I laughed is because it's something that can't be done. Chuck D doesn't own the group by himself," Flav said of its fellow founder. "So he can't fire me. I'm not his employee, never was his employee, never will be his employee. I'm just his equal partner."
Flav, born William Jonathan Drayton Jr. in Roosevelt and raised in Freeport, went on to insist to an unidentified, off-camera female interviewer, "Chuck D can't kick me out. The only thing he can do is refuse to perform with me." He called the firing the result of a political difference. "Just because I'm not endorsing a candidate, now you want to try to oust me? All because I'm not doing what you're doing? It's not fair."
Public Enemy on Monday issued a statement saying it "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."
Flav's attorney had sent a cease-and-desist letter to presidential hopeful Sanders on Friday objecting to "unauthorized use of ... [Flav's] likeness, image and trademarked clock in promotional materials circulated by the campaign. … While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy."
The group, headed by Roosevelt-raised Chuck D, born Carlton Douglas Ridenhour, responded Sunday with a statement saying, "Public Enemy and [spinoff group] Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well." The performance at the Los Angeles rally went off as scheduled.
Flav on Monday issued a series of angry tweets about the firing.