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Flavor Flav on being fired from Public Enemy: 'You kidding me ... over Bernie Sanders???'

"I'm not your employee ... i'm your partner ... you can't fire me ... there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav," Flav wrote on Twitter.
Image: Chuck D and Flavor Flav
Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy perform during the Hip Hop Gods Classic Tourfest Revue at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia in November 2012.Gilbert Carrasquillo / Getty Images file

Flavor Flav responded with shock to the announcement that he had been fired from Public Enemy after he sent a cease-and-desist letter over the band's performance at a campaign rally for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

"Are you kidding me right now??? ... over Bernie Sanders??? You wanna destroy something we've built over 35 years OVER POLITICS???" Flav wrote Monday on Twitter, addressing Public Enemy's co-founder Chuck D.

"All because I don't wanna endorse a candidate ... I'm very disappointed in you and your decisions right now," Flav wrote. "I'm not your employee ... i'm your partner ... you can't fire me ... there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav ... so let's get it right Chuck."

An open letter released Monday by Public Enemy contended that the group's decision wasn't about "political views."

The letter said Flav had been on "suspension" since 2016 after he didn't show up for a benefit for Harry Belafonte. Flav "had previously missed numerous live gigs ... album recording sessions and photo shoots," the group claimed. "He always chose to party over work."

"This was the last straw for the group," the letter said. "It's time to move on and everyone wishes Flavor well." The letter was signed by band members Chuck D, James Bomb, DJ Lord, Pop Diesel and Jahi.

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In the early '80s, Flav and Chuck D were among the co-founders of the group, known for its politically charged lyrics and messaging.

On Friday, Flav's lawyer sent a letter to the Sanders campaign, saying Public Enemy's recently announced performance at a rally in Los Angeles would use Flav's "unauthorized likeness" and "image" for promotion purposes.

"While Chuck is certainly free to express his political view as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy," the letter read. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav."

"Hey Bernie, don't do this," Flav wrote at the bottom of the letter, along with a drawing of his signature clock.

Public Enemy responded by saying Flav was no longer a member of the group.

"Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav," a statement from the band said. "We thank him for his years of service and wish him well."

Public Enemy Radio, a Public Enemy offshoot led by Chuck D and featuring DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws, went on with its plan to perform at Sanders' rally Sunday, which was livestreamed on Sanders' website.

"Spoke @BernieSanders rally with @EnemyRadio. If there was a $bag, Flav would've been there front & center. He will NOT do free benefit shows," Chuck D wrote on Twitter after the rally. He had also criticized Flav's decision earlier in the day on Twitter and Instagram.

"Sued me in court the 1st time I let him back in. His ambulance lawyer sued me again on Friday," Chuck D continued. In a 2017 lawsuit, Flav accused Chuck D of having withheld Public Enemy royalties and merchandising revenue from him.

Flav said in his tweets Monday that he hadn't sued Chuck D again. "I didn't sue you on Friday ... I asked the @berniesanders campaign to correct misleading marketing," Flav wrote.

Flav also addressed claims from Public Enemy's letter and Chuck D himself that he belongs in rehab.

"I'm not on drugs like you're saying and have been clean for 10 years ... i have battled addiction before and like millions of other Americans I know the massive toll it takes," Flav wrote. "Chuck you know better than to lie about s--- like that."