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Allen Adams Allen Adams
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Celebrity Slam - Fight the power

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We don’t have many rules here at Celebrity Slam. For the most part, we allow ourselves free reign to mock and deride the famous for whatever nonsense and/or shenanigans they get up to. However, there are a couple of areas that we tend to try and steer clear of.

For instance, when people are genuinely hurt, physically or otherwise, we’re not interested. We’re here to have fun, and the truth is that there are some things – abuse, violence, etc. – that simply aren’t funny. And since we’re here to laugh … yeah. Pass.

We also generally avoid the political realm. That’s not because these people aren’t constantly putting their respective feet in it – they totally are – but we fancy ourselves as an escape of sorts. We don’t love the idea of the real world intruding on the churning whirlpool of good-natured snark we generate here.

However – rules are made to be broken.

We went back and forth about whether to address this story due to the political elements contained therein, but ultimately, we decided to go with it. The truth is, the politics are just a small part of the story, the lit fuse that led to a ridiculous detonation.

Yeah – we’re going to talk about Public Enemy. Specifically, we’re going to talk about the fact that founding member and hype man extraordinaire Flavor Flav has been kicked out of the band.

All this started when the announcement was made that Public Enemy Radio would be playing as part of a rally for the Bernie Sanders campaign. Note the “Radio” on the end – essentially, this is an offshoot group, albeit one featuring a ton of Public Enemy originals and performing Public Enemy songs. Anyway, Flav is not a part of that group, due largely to the falling out and longtime feud with Chuck D.

However, Flav did send a cease-and-desist order with regards to the rally, claiming that his likeness was being used for promotional purposes without his permission. Now, we’re not talking about his image or anything like that – Flav’s people claim that the mere act of performing as Public Enemy is an unauthorized use of his likeness.

In response, Chuck D – the only other remaining original member – and the rest of the crew gave him the boot.

In a statement released to Rolling Stone, the band said: “Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving on without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well.”

And that, as they say, was that. In an internet blink, one of the longest-standing partnerships in hip-hop came to the end of a 35-year journey. Oh sure, Flav and Chuck went back and forth on Twitter for a bit, taking some swings and launching some low blows, but it’s pretty clear no one’s heart was really in it.

Reconciliation seems extremely unlikely – the two had been feuding for years, with Flav claiming that he had been cheated out of significant compensation with regards to band royalties and whatnot. By most accounts, the pair were barely on speaking terms already and Flav was persona non grata. Basically, all this incident did was provide the motivating force for the Public Enemy team to make it official.

It’s all ridiculous, of course. The idea that using the Public Enemy name (or the admittedly-slightly-confusing Public Enemy Radio moniker) and music warrants this kind of action seems foolish – particularly when the guy complaining made his main contribution by shouting variations of “Yeah boy!” and wearing a giant clock as a necklace.

(A valuable contribution, mind you, but far from an irreplaceable one.)

Of course, Chuck D going out there and throwing shade at Flav, claiming that the only motivating factor was money … not exactly the most mature way to handle the proceedings.

Basically, what we’re seeing here is a remarkable amount of pettiness for a pair of dudes who made their names being the hardest guys in hip-hop. It’s a shame to see it end like this; even though Flav has largely become a parody of himself over the last decade, he’s still an important figure in rap history.

But hey – you do you, Flav. Fight the power. Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh booooooooyyyyyyy!

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 March 2020 12:19


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