On April’s Fools Day (April 1), Chuck D decided to send the masses for a spin. In March, the Public Enemy frontman claimed the historic group parted ways with Flavor Flav. The news made plenty of headlines and even produced statements from both Chuck D and Flav’s representatives. Now, the former is saying it was all a hoax.
In a statement, Chuck D said the decision was influenced by Orson Welles’ 1938 radio broadcast, “War of the Worlds.” He began his explanation by saying the decision was meant to serve as “a wake-up call” and that he was tired of hip-hop only making the news for the bad moments and never for the positive accomplishments. As for Welles’ radio program, Chuck D said it was to show how people follow each another without question.
“I had watched Orson Welles’ ‘War Of The Worlds’ from 1938 when he pulled the wool over the public’s eyes as they put 100% belief in the technology of radio. Most people followed like a Pavlovic dog just like they do now,” he wrote. “Flav doesn’t do benefits and stays away from political events – we been cool and always agreed about that. Enemy Radio was built for that reason, to be a DJ+MC auxiliary unit of Public Enemy, a no-slack homage tossback to DJ+MC roots. It is DJ Lord, myself and Jahi with the S1Ws.”
Initially, Flav’s decision to not perform at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) seemed to have been the catalyst for the current situation. Flav seemingly doubled down on Twitter where he questioned Chuck D’s statements. “@MrChuckD are you kidding me right???,,,over Bernie Sanders??? You wanna destroy something we’ve built over 35 years OVER POLITICS???,,,all because I don’t wanna endorse a candidate.” A reported cease-and-desist letter was sent to the group via Flav’s lawyer claiming his likeness was being used by Sanders’ campaign.
The tweet later prompted a response from the group’s members, noting they didn’t part ways with Flav over his political beliefs. They claimed, since 2016, that Flav “has been on suspension” and that “he had previously missed numerous live gigs” around the world.
“Hearing the confused mush of political talk while under the bowels of Trumpotus made me use a presidential stage as my platform,” Chuck D continued to write. “Out of this storm came a plan between Flav and me to remind people that what’s important should have as much, if not more, value than just what’s popular. Thus came the HOAX, our ‘War Of The Worlds.’ Believe half of what you hear and NONE of what you see.”
In an interview with Talib Kweli’s Uproxx podcast “People’s Party” Chuck D said he let certain people know what was on the horizon for April 1 and reassured those people that him “and Flav have been better than ever.” Additionally, Enemy Radio released an album titled Loud Is Not Enough, with its first single being titled “Food as a Machine Gun.” Chuck D noted that at the end of the day, the entire situation’s “original intention was to get your attention.”