In What Has To Be the Dumbest April Fools' Day Prank in Recent Memory, Public Enemy Admits Their Breakup Was a Hoax

Illustration for article titled In What Has To Be the Dumbest April Fools' Day Prank in Recent Memory, Public Enemy Admits Their Breakup Was a Hoax
Photo: Ethan Miller (Getty Images)

I hate April Fools’ Day.

Each year, friend and foe alike go to ridiculous lengths to deceive and delude the general public for the sole purpose of raising our blood pressure—as if black folks don’t have enough shit to worry about it. But clearly that’s beside the point since now we have rap legends Chuck D and Flavor Flav revealing that their lovers spat back in March was part of an elaborate hoax too.


As I previously reported, the dynamic duo fell out over Flav’s refusal to participate in a Bernie Sanders rally on March 1:

Apparently not feeling the Bern, Matthew H. Friedman, Flavor Flav’s lawyer, accused Bernie of sparking a “fake revolution” and “promoting a ‘false narrative’ that the group has endorsed his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination,” according to an open letter provided to Billboard.

“We have become aware that Flavor’s bandmate and Public Enemy co-creator, Chuck D, has endorsed Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for President and plans to perform at an upcoming Sanders Rally,” Friedman wrote. “While Chuck is certainly free to express his political views as he sees fit—his voice alone does not speak for Public Enemy.”

This, of course, provoked a Twitter tirade from Chuck D and led to Flav’s subsequent dismissal from the group.

“Public Enemy and Public Enemy Radio will be moving forward without Flavor Flav. We thank him for his years of service and wish him well,” Public Enemy wrote in a statement.

But apparently all was not what it seemed, as Pitchfork reports that the whole thing was just some April Fools’ Day bullshit to drum up attention for Loud Is Not Enough, the new album from Chuck D’s spinoff group, Enemy Radio.

During an interview with Talib Kweli on his People’s Party podcast, Chuck D. laid out how this ridiculous cry for attention drew inspiration from Orson Welles’ notorious War of the Worlds hoax:

“We already talked about this beforehand. Public Enemy Radio went up [at the Sanders rally]. His lawyer sent out a cease and desist. I’m like, ‘Good move.’ Then, publicly: ‘Man, you don’t fuckin’ sue me again.’ He ain’t suin’ me. But I can say it! If the public is confused about this, that, whatever—they’re gonna be confused about what’s a lawsuit and what’s not. ‘Yo, man you suing me again publicly? Boom. Fuck that. You’re fired dude. This is my last thing with you.’ OK. We knew what was gonna come. I’m not sayin’ it’s a hoax, I’m sayin’ that the original intention is to get your attention and not play attention, but get you to pay attention.”



Chuck also made it a point to confirm that yes, Flav is still part of the group and a new Public Enemy album has been in the works since February.


“He can’t, he’s a partner. You can’t fire partners. You just walk away from ’em,” he said. “There’s a select few that do know—that I had to let know—that me and Flav have been better than ever.”

He added, “We takin’ April Fools. We takin’ it over. It’s April Flav Chuck Day.”

Ummm okay.

Did I mention I hate April Fools’ Day?

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.


Murry Chang

That’s not humor I hear that’s...well, sounds like backpedaling to me.