by G. Brown
Super Tuesday was super revealing. Not talking about the results with Biden coming out on top because even Stevie Wonder saw that one coming…instead we’re talking about how candidates so desperate to woo Black voters that they would do anything. Emphasis on anything…
Yep. Rapper Juvenile dropped the beat and former Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer tried to pick it up but a lack of rhythm got in the way. Steyer should have listened to the lyrics and “Back That Thang Up” all the way off stage. He does earn the ‘he tried it award’ and his wife got all the points for at least keeping the beat. Seriously though, this shows just how desperate candidates were to win Black voter support going into Super Tuesday.
And Steyer wasn’t the only candidate hoping to hip hop his way to the front of the pack. Over at Bernie Sanders camp, it was a flashback to the good ole ’90s with Public Enemy…kinda. Chuck D and the rest of the band was there, but hypeman Flavor Flav wasn’t hyped about Sanders’ campaign and sent a “cease-and-desist letter over the band’s performance at a campaign rally”.
The flare-up was part of a continuing beef the group had been having over how the group is marketed in connection to things like political rallies. Sanders’ campaign adopted the group’s “Fight the Power” as a rallying cry for his battle against the Democratic establishment.
An endorsement that Flav never signed up for. In a letter from his attorney, Flav said, “While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit — his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy,” the letter, written by attorney Matthew H. Friedman, read. “The planned performance will only be Chuck D of Public Enemy, it will not be a performance by Public Enemy. Those who truly know what Public Enemy stands for know what time it is, there is no Public Enemy without Flavor Flav.“(CNN.com)
Flav’s letter went on to call the whole deal a “grossly misleading narrative” and said “If Bernie allows this deceptive marketing to continue without clearly correcting the messaging to reflect the true nature of this endorsement which should accurately read: ‘Chuck D of Public Enemy’ — Senator Sanders will himself have played a part in whitewashing a key chapter in American History,”.
Chuck D responded by officially kicking Flav out of the band. Chuck D says it was the “last straw” in a string of missed appearances by Flav dating back to 2016.
Since then, the two have been back and forth on social media with each saying the other is wrong. Flav says he can’t believe Chuck is firing him over Bernie.
While Chuck denies it’s over politics, the optics on this mess are in Flav’s corner. Candidates use to pander to Black voters by just sitting in the pews at the biggest churches, now they’re extending to hip hop to try and lure the younger generations. Flav may have a past of missed performances and problems prior to this, but the timing of kicking him out the group sure looks as Flav put it, “over Bernie”.
This group was the social conscience and voice of a generation that rose up to fight the powers that be at a time when being Black was deadly for young men. This groundbreaking, barrier shattering group that taught people to fight for their rights is now fighting one another over candidates they just met who are promising the world?
We’ve seen the same political chasm swallowing up others… hatred pitting Dems vs GOP, Black vs. White, even husband against wife(looking at you Kellyanne Conway). We’ve even seen it pit Black vs. Black, so is it so hard to fathom that it could tear apart brothers united in music?
What do you think…is Flav getting what he deserves after years of blowing off gigs? Or is this all about selling out for a buck to the highest political bidder?