Chuck D, lead rapper of Public Enemy, has issued a statement regarding group member Flavor Flav and his actions on “Strange Love,” a show televised on VH1.
“We’d like to offer an apology for some of the actions that many considered offensive to Black people, and especially Black women and children, by our brother Flavor Flav as portrayed on the VH1 television show “Strange Love,” Chuck said in a statement to AllHipHop.com. “Like I said, Flav is our brother but we cannot begin to agree with what the rest of us consider inappropriate behavior and unfair actions towards his family and to himself.”
The show is built on the premise that Flavor Flav woos Brigitte Nielsen, who is engaged to be married. In the process, there are a number of cultural conflicts that arise. In some episodes, Flavor Flav reacted angrily towards the group and members of his own family over a number of instances.
“What is offensive is that his character and private issues are being trashed in front of millions for mere sake of profit and ratings. To showcase the troubling conflict between his kids and ex was uncalled for and we can’t stand by it.”
Public Enemy remains one of the most popular and powerful groups with its unique mixture of message oriented music and hard beats. Chuck stated that the recent televised developments haven’t necessarily added to the legacy.
“[The show’s imagery] has been harmful to Flav’s standing and legacy of being our brother, regardless of what he got paid, fame, infamy, ratings… but at what price?” the rapper queried. “It is this Flavploitation by the “Strange Love” executive producers Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego, production companies Mindless Entertainment and 51 Minds, VH1 and yes, even Flav and his manager.” According to Chuck D, the entire series was taped over three weeks in Oct. 2004.
“Let’s keep in mind that television – no matter how much ‘reality’ they put in front of the word – is not real,” he stated.
Ultimately, Chuck D explained that his rapping partner was his own man and not bound by any formal doctrine.
“Public Enemy is not a fraternity, nor a political or religious organization, and thus everyone has their own individual personal agendas. But together we make music and are dedicated to spreading the good word around the planet,” he said. “I would be lying if I said that the side of Flav shown on ‘Strange Love’ doesn’t affect what I’ve wanted our collective to stand for, because it does and many have told us how deeply they are bothered by this.”
Rapper Paris, who will produce PE’s next album, said, “While Flavor Flav is a grown man and responsible for his own actions, it’s worthy to note that VH1 (and its sister
station, MTV) have a history of not supporting message-oriented music, even though they openly embrace corporate-chosen artists who damage our communities with negative images and messages. The “Strange Love” show is little more than an attempt to indirectly discredit the one group most relevant to the Black Experience in hip-hop.”
At press time, Flavor Flav and his manager didn’t respond to inquiries by AllHipHop.com.