Flavor Flav’s Public Frenemy

Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav filed suit in a Los Angeles court Aug. 29 against bandmate Chuck D and others, claiming he’s owed money and property rights for his work with the pioneering hip-hop act and use of his image. 

Flavor Flav of Public Enemy
Mark Allan / Invision / AP
– Flavor Flav of Public Enemy
The O2, London, UK

Flavor Flav – real name William Drayton – also claims merchandising deals were made without his consent or compensation, according to The Wrap, and that his role in the band has been diminished.

“Despite Drayton’s position in Public Enemy, the group’s management and related companies have for years attempted to minimize his role in the Public Enemy business, while continuing to rely upon Drayton’s fame and persona to market the brand,” court documents cited by The Wrap claim.

Flav alleges that although he and Chuck D – real name Carlton Ridenhour – have agreed profits from Public Enemy would be shared between them, payments from PE’s business management firm, Eastlink, have “diminished to almost nothing, and Drayton has been refused accountings, even on the items bearing his likeness,” at the direction of Ridenhuor, The Wrap reported.

Drayton also claims that his voice and image were used on PE’s June album release, Nothing Is Quick in the Desert, without his consent. Court documents reportedly say he requested a $75,000 fee for recording the album, but received only $7,500.

The suit alleges copyright infringement and “numerous” other counts, and seeks unspecified damages.