It may feel like a million years ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but just one month ago Chuck D and Flavor Flav’s public feud got so bad that Public Enemy announced they had fired Flav from the legendary group. However, Chuck D now claims the whole thing was an elaborate hoax.
According to Pitchfork, it was all a big April Fool’s stunt to promote a new album from Chuck’s Public Enemy Radio. The new album is out now and is titled Loud Is Not Enough, and it includes the single Food as a Machine Gun that features both Chuck D and Flavor Flav.
Chuck D revealed in an interview that Public Enemy firing Flavor Flav was part of an elaborate April Fools ruse to help announce new music. “Me and Flav have been better than ever.” https://t.co/oB1PKdG3qm
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) April 1, 2020
Chuck said during an interview on the Uproxx podcast People’s Party (recorded on March 10) that he found inspiration from Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds hoax. He noted some conversations with Flav about how the public viewed them, and they felt that over the past few years “Flav’s stock was low.”
“Anybody that could take a shot at him could get a good shot at him,” said Chuck D.
At the same time, Chuck believed his success with Prophets of Rage had improved his rep in the public eye. He then claimed that he teamed up with Flav to create a “public breakup narrative,” while they continued to keep in touch and collaborate behind the scenes.
ICYMI, after the announcement that Public Enemy Radio (an offshoot group featuring Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi, and the S1Ws) would perform at a Bernie Sanders rally on March 1st, Flav issued a cease and desist letter to the Sanders campaign with claims that they were using his likeness without permission.
Then, Public Enemy claimed that they had fired Flavor Flav, and Flav fired back against Chuck D on social media. Chuck D says that this was all part of the hoax.
“We already talked about this beforehand. Public Enemy Radio went up [at the Bernie Sanders rally]. His lawyer sent out a cease and desist. I’m like, “Good move.” Then, publicly: “Man, you don’t f*ckin’ sue me again.” He ain’t suin’ me. But I can say it! If the public is confused about this, that, whatever—they’re gonna be confused about what’s a lawsuit and what’s not,” said Chuck D.
He went on to explain that he fought back against Flav publicly and fired him from Public Enemy. He then said it wasn’t a hoax, but the original intention was to get the public to pay attention.
I am not a part of your hoax .@mrchuckd,,,there are more serious things in the world right now than April Fool's jokes and dropping records,,,the world needs better than this,,,you say we are leaders so act like one,,,donate to those in need here: https://t.co/7hioasSwuV
— FLAVOR FLAV (@FlavorFlav) April 1, 2020
Chuck D made it clear that Flav can’t be fired from Public Enemy because he’s a partner. He said that you can’t fire partners, you just walk away from them. He also revealed that he and Flav have been working on an album together since February.
“There’s a select few that do know—that I had to let know—that me and Flav have been better than ever,” said Chuck D. “We takin’ April Fools. We takin’ it over. It’s April Flav Chuck Day.”
Chuck D also issued a statement, saying that it obviously takes “doing crazy sh*t or catastrophe” to wake people up. He added that paying attention is the cheapest price to pay.
In response to Chuck D’s claims, Flavor Flav tweeted that he had no part in the scheme.
“I am not a part of your hoax [email protected],,,there are more serious things in the world right now than April Fool’s jokes and dropping records,,,the world needs better than this,,,you say we are leaders so act like one,” tweeted Flavor Flav.