Flavor Flav has issued a cease-and-desist letter against the Bernie Sanders campaign following news that Chuck D — under the moniker Public Enemy Radio — planned to perform at the Democratic candidate’s Los Angeles rally Sunday.
The letter, sent to Sanders Friday by Flavor Flav’s lawyer Matthew Friedman, accuses the campaign of using the hypeman’s “unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock” to promote the rally, even though Flavor Flav “has not endorsed any political candidate.”
“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 states. “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.
“Flav … has not endorsed any political candidate in this election cycle. … The continued publicizing of this grossly misleading narrative is, at a minimum, careless and irresponsible if not intentionally misleading,” Friedman added in the letter. “It is unfortunate that a political campaign would be so careless with the artistic integrity of such iconoclastic figures in American culture.
In a handwritten note at the bottom of the cease-and-desist, Flavor Flav wrote to Sanders, “Hey Bernie, don’t do this.”
Despite the cease-and-desist letter, the Public Enemy Radio performance — featuring Chuck D performing that rap group’s music alongside DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws — will continue as scheduled Sunday, a rep for Chuck D told Rolling Stone.
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Chuck D said of his bandmate, “Flavor chooses to dance for his money and not do benevolent work like this. He has a year to get his act together and get himself straight or he’s out.”
A lawyer for Chuck D added, “From a legal standpoint, Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark. He originally drew the logo himself in the mid-80’s, is also the creative visionary and the group’s primary songwriter, having written Flavor’s most memorable lines.”
A rep from the Sanders campaign did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
… last final note the last final note was my last straw was long ago. It’s not about BERNIE with Flav… he don’t know the difference between BarrySanders or BernieSanders he don’t know either. FLAV refused to support @Sankofa after @harrybelafonte inducted us. He don’t do that pic.twitter.com/5Ky9dTnzmd
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 1, 2020
So I don’t attack FLAV on what he don’t know. I gotta leave him at the crib so y’all trying to fill his persona with some political aplomb is absolutely‘stupid’ Obviously I understand his craziness after all this damn time. Duh you don’t know him from a box of cigars or me either
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 1, 2020
In a series of tweets Sunday, Chuck D outlined why he’s supporting Sanders even though he hates “the party bullshit.”
“My Dad passing in 2016 and Granddaughter being born automatically put healthcare and childcare at the top of my brain. There ain’t a candidate running that can answer to 3 Black struggling generations living in the same crib, same time. If y’all don’t know THIS-it’s a bad problem,” the rapper tweeted.
“I dig aspects of Bern. Hate the party Bulsht. But can relate to half the issues & get forward. Use your minds & be ready to fight whoever in office.”
Read Flavor Flav’s letter to Sanders (via Pitchfork):