Public Enemy's best-known member, Flavor Flav, has officially split with the rest of the rap group after a disagreement with the Bernie Sanders campaign caused harsh feelings between the band's members.
On Friday, Flavor Flav's attorney's sent a cease and desist letter to the Sanders campaign, asking them to stop using his "unauthorized likeness, image and trademarked clock" in promotional materials for a Sunday rally.
Though Chuck D did perform at the Sanders rally alongside "Public Enemy," Flav's attorney called the marketing deceptive, writing:
"While [Public Enemy leader Chuck D] is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit ― his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy. The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy."
USA Today also wrote about the incident, quoting part of Flav's attorney-issued statement.
"Flav reached out in the interest of unity, supporting Chuck's right to speak his mind but without unnecessarily misleading the public. ... Chuck may own the name Public Enemy but all you had to do was look at the masses of clock-wearing fans pouring out of the rally ... to know that there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav."
Public Enemy, which has now been reduced to leader Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi, and the S1Ws performed for 30 minutes at the Sanders rally on Sunday. During the show, Chuck D joked about his age compared to that of Sanders:
"Hey, I'm 59 ― I'm an old-a** rapper."
After Flavor Flav reached out to the Sanders campaign, Public Enemy issued a statement saying:
"Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well."
Flavor Flav stopped performing with Public Enemy around 2009.
In recent years, Chuck D began Public Enemy radio "so it does benefits & fundraisers" to further political and humanitarian causes.
Though Flav would often refuse to show up to these shows, allegedly citing such activities as "ridiculousness" and suing Chuck D, the Public Enemy frontman commented "if there was a $bag, Flav would've been there front & center."
Now, it seems politics has broken up yet another classic rap group. Hopefully Wu Tang hasn't been discussing the upcoming primaries...