(Photo: Kim Metso via Wikimedia Commons)


Flavor Flav, the clock-wearing sidekick to Chuck D. in the rap group Public Enemy, is suing his bandmate and two business managers for alleged unpaid royalties.

Flav, whose real name is William Drayton, claims that he and Chuck had an understanding that they would split profits equally for recordings, concerts and merchandising. But his profits have all but disappeared, according to Variety. The lawsuit accuses the managers of exploiting “his fame and persona to market the brand” while attempting “to minimize his role in the Public Enemy business.” The suit goes on to say Flav has never received any streaming or download revenue, and his image was licensed without his permission for watches, dolls, and bicycles.

The suit alleges Flav was underpaid for the recording of the group’s latest album, “Nothing Is Quick in the Desert.” He agreed to record the album for $75,000. Flav claims he was paid $7,500 after a day of recording and that he was told he would be wired more money at a later time. The remaining amount never came, he says, and he was surprised when the album was released on June 29. “He had never heard of the album, nor heard any of the final mixes,” the suit asserts.

The lawsuit is unclear on the subject of damages, according to the New York Daily News, which may be determined during a trial.

Chuck D. aired his feelings about the lawsuit on Twitter. “People can lighten up on Flav. It’s his new mgt that vengefully felt that suing a 3rd party & connecting me was a good move for him #stupid,” he tweeted. He also expressed dismay at Public Enemy not being able to take part in any benefit concerts for Hurricane Harvey relief due to the legal action. “So I head to Houston with Prophets of Rage,” Chuck wrote, referring to the Public Enemy/Cypress Hill/Rage Against the Machine supergroup formed in 2016. In spite of his disappointment with the situation, Chuck appeared to be philosophical about his PE partner. “When it’s all said and done I gotta pick him up and dust him off,” he tweeted.