Last month saw the apparent implosion of one of hip-hop's best-known groups as Public Enemy fired their hype man, Flavor Flav.
There was a lot of public mudslinging back-and-forth between founding members Chuck D and Flavor Flav, as accusations of legal action relating to a Bernie Sanders rally emerged.
Now, it seems that the whole thing was a hoax to generate publicity for Chuck's new side project, Public Enemy Radio.
He told Talib Kweli on a podcast recorded on March 10th that he had been inspired by Orson Welles' 'War of the Worlds'. "We felt that over the past few years, Flavor’s stock was low. Anybody that could take a shot at him could get a good shot at him," he said, adding that the pair had agreed to stage a very public split but maintain contact.
"We already talked about this beforehand," he said. "Public Enemy Radio went up [i.e. played at the Bernie Sanders rally]. His lawyer sent out a cease and desist. I’m like, “Good move.” Then, publicly: “Man, you don’t fuckin’ 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. “Yo, man, you suing me again publicly? Boom. Fuck that. You’re fired dude. This is my last thing with you.” OK. We knew what was gonna come. I’m not sayin’ it’s a hoax, I’m sayin’ that the original intention is to get your attention and not play attention, but get you to pay attention."
He added: "There’s a select few that do know—that I had to let know—that me and Flav have been better than ever. We takin’ April Fools. We takin’ it over. It’s April Flav Chuck Day.”
Sounds clear as mud to us.
However, it seems that even Flavor Flav himself is confused by the whole thing. He took to Twitter to criticise his (former? current?) collaborator, saying "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,,,", before urging people to donate to a relief fund for artists affected by the current situation.
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
In short, will we ever see Chuck D and Flavor Flav on a stage together again? It seems that even they don't know the answer to that one.