Two of Public Enemy’s co-founders are bracing for a legal battle…against one another.
The Wrap reports Flavor Flav is suing Chuck D and Public Enemy’s management over unpaid royalties. According court documents, Flav states he and Chuck have a longstanding agreement to share profits from the group’s music, concerts, and merchandise; however, Public Enemy's business management firm Eastlink has failed to pay him what he’s owed.
“This action involves the usurpation of money and property rights from Plaintiff William J. Drayton, known as ‘Flavor Flav,’ the suit reads. “Drayton is recognized as one of the two key members of groundbreaking Hip Hop group Public Enemy. Public Enemy have been inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and have sold tens of millions of records. 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.”
Flav, who has become Public Enemy’s most recognizable member, also claims his voice and image were used without his consent on Nothing Is Quick in the Desert, the group’s 2017 album that was released for free back in June. Furthermore, Flav said he was supposed to be paid $75,000 for the new album, but only received $7,500.
The 58-year-old rapper is also suing Public Enemy producer Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo, whom he also accuses of using his likeness without permission. Flav claims he was never compensated after G-Wiz struck a deal to create Public Enemy action figures.
Flav is suing for copyright infringement and several other counts. He is seeking unspecified damages.