Chuck D is claiming that the feud was played up for publicity, and doesn't seem to care if cynics want to doubt that
April 1st is not usually thought of as the day to come clean about previous tricks, but that's exactly what Chuck D did in an interview with Talib Kweli's People's Party podcast.
At least, that's how it went down if we can take Chuck at his word...
While the interview took place on March 10th—just over a week after the original drama—it was planned for release just in time for April Fools' day and the drop of Public Enemy Radio's new album, Loud is Not Enough. So Chuck took the opportunity to address the supposed beef between himself and his longtime collaborator, saying, "We takin' April Fools', we takin' it over. It's April Flav Chuck Day."
Chuck D Sets The Record Straight About Flavor Flav's 'Firing' | People's Party Clip www.youtube.com
The dispute in question developed around a March 1st Bernie Sanders rally in LA, where Chuck D and other members of PER performed without Flavor Flav. Ahead of the event, Flav's lawyer sent a cease and desist letter to the Sanders campaign, insisting that they stop using the Public Enemy brand to promote their event without Flav's permission. The letter even included a hand-written note from Flav saying, "Hey Bernie, don't do this."
Shortly after, Chuck announced that the band would be moving on without Flav, and ran through a litany of grievances on Twitter, essentially accusing Flav of being juvenile, greedy, and in need of rehab, disparaging his songwriting achievements and referring to Flav's attorney as "his ambulance lawyer." The story that went out at the time was that Flavor Flav was suing Chuck D (again), so Chuck D had decided to fire Flav. Now Chuck is refuting both of those ideas, saying that there is no lawsuit and that Flavor Flav cannot be fired: "He's a partner. You don't fire partners." At the time, of course, Chuck's own lawyer didn't seem as sure about the structure of that partnership, saying in a statement that "Chuck could perform as Public Enemy if he ever wanted to; he is the sole owner of the Public Enemy trademark."
Now Chuck is saying "me and Flav been better than ever." So what was the point of the very public quarrel if it was all based on nothing—if there was no lawsuit, no firing, and if the pair had "talked about [it] beforehand?" According to Chuck, "The original intention is to get your attention." He acknowledged that Flav was not really interested in performing at the rally, saying, "Number one, Flavor don't know the difference between Bernie Sanders, Barry Sanders, or Colonel Sanders." But the idea that this caused a rift between them was played up because Flav's profile had been diminishing in recent years and, in Chuck's words, "bad news is the news."
Apparently, while the supposed feud was making headlines, Chuck and Flav were continuing production of their new single, "Food as a Machine Gun," on the topic of the physical and psychological damage that "the food industrial machine" is inflicting, particularly on poor communities of color. And, without a doubt, the Chuck and Flav drama, along with this newest wrinkle, have led to more press for the album and for the single—which Chuck describes as "the most important [song]."
Food As A Machine Gun - Enemy Radio ft. Public Enemy www.youtube.com
Still, there is a cynical way to interpret all this. Was the feud played up and predetermined to achieve this effect, or did old friends have a public blow up, then figure out a good way to spin it after they privately reconciled. It's really not possible to say, but Chuck D does have a message for the cynics who say he's saving face: "Anyone out there that I don't know, that they don't know me? They can say anything they want, man … I'm gonna forget you tomorrow, you're gonna remember me for the rest of your life."
As for Flav, he has yet to comment on the issue publicly, but he does close out "Food as a Machine Gun" with this line, "The real beef is inside you."
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The song is loud and braggadocios, and as police assault innocent protestors across the country, YG once again says what's exactly on our mind.
As protests swell across the country demanding an end to police brutality and justice for the murder of George Floyd, YG once again releases a protest song in line with the current political climate.
YG - FTP (Official Audio) www.youtube.com
It's time to study.
Now that you've flooded Instagram with photos of black squares, it's time to hunker down for some real activism.
If you're a white person, you're sitting on top of about four centuries of institutionalized racism. In the wake of George Floyd's murder by police and countless Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, it's time to show up—with your body, with your voice, and with your brain.