After reports surfaced last week that Flavor Flav was suing Chuck D over unpaid royalties, it seemed like the drama surrounding the two Public Enemy founders was only beginning to swell. It appeared as though Flavor Flav was suing Chuck D directly for not paying him royalties for songs for many years, as well as for using his voice and image for Public Enemy’s most recent Nothing Is Quick in the Desert project, which was released for free.
However, HipHopDX spoke to Chuck D and he helped shed some light on the issue. Chuck is mentioned in Flavor Flav’s lawsuit, but Flav is really seeking compensation from Eastlink, Public Enemy’s business management firm, owned by Gary “G-Wiz” Rinaldo. Chuck’s own company, Bring the Noise, merged with Eastlink in 2007, and therefore his name is mentioned in the lawsuit, but Flavor Flav is apparently not really going after Chuck. It’s the management that owes him the money.
Chuck D even confirmed that Flav's issue isn't with him directly with a tweet.
“Flav and his people sued me in connection to albums, merch and essentially non-communication and non-payment, but BTNE was the third party that was supposed to account to Flav and everyone else,” Chuck explained to HipHopDX. “Gary [Rinaldo] ignored it. Flav is in Las Vegas doing Vegas things in casinos. Public Enemy hadn’t worked in a year because I wasn’t working without an album and a plan.”
Flavor Flav himself took to his Instagram to clear the air, writing in a post that he “love[s his] partner Chuck D.” We will fix it.”
A post shared by Flavor Flav ⏰ (@flavorflavofficial) on Aug 31, 2017 at 3:57pm PDT
With all that said, Chuck D is still not completely satisfied with his Public Enemy partner. “I wasn’t upset about the lawsuit,” he claims. “I was more upset at Flav missing his deadlines and being adamant about not working, and rejecting the work on the new P.E. album.” Chuck was also more hurt that Flav was unwilling to do any benefits. According to him, he has done eight benefits in one year with his solo projects, Prophets of Rage.
“Flav can be fixed. I don’t think my situation can be fixed as easily. There’s a series of individuals I’m very disappointed in. If things aren’t resolved very soon, I’m going to have to file a lawsuit of my own by October 1,” Chuck said.
“Flavor isn’t 100 percent wrong, but he brings a lot of craziness and disorganization to the fucking table, and that causes a myriad of issues that costs time and money,” Chuck explained. “His inability to be focused, pay attention and stay woke bleeds into other areas.”
“Him and his manager [Greg Johnson] parting ways, to me, was a bad move," he adds. "The new manager is amateurish in their decision making. I’m proud of Flav, but he’s a co-owner of the masters of these Public Enemy records. That doesn’t necessarily mean songwriting. It takes effort and teamwork, and he’s got to be mentally on point to write P.E. songs. He has to step it up.”
“It just shows you how it is today,” he says. “We do a gesture in honor of 30 years of Public Enemy and give away a formidable album, and we get more press about the drama than the actual record. But it comes with the territory.”
“There’s people in this camp that have lost sight about what’s important," he says. "I’m a firm believer you pay other people before you pay yourself. If the ship goes down, you go down with it last. You don’t throw them under the water and take the lifeboat. Period.”