Flavor Flav is suing Chuck D and members of their group Public Enemy’s production and management team over alleged unpaid royalties.
In his lawsuit, filed Tuesday Flavor Flav, whose real name is William Drayton, claims that for several years, despite being identified as a writer on over 50 Public Enemy songs, he has not received regular songwriting royalty statements. In documents, obtained by TMZ, Flavor Flav says he and Chuck have a long-standing agreement to share profits from their music, live concerts and merchandise — but he hasn’t seen a royalty check in several years.
Flavor Flav and Chuck D were the two core members of the group Public Enemy. Chuck D was seen as the serious musical talent while Flav played the goofy hype man. The suit hints at years of pent-up hard feelings over this perception of their relative importance.
Flav’s also going after producer Gary G-Wiz for making a deal to create action figures of Public Enemy without his knowledge. In the suit, Flav says Gary got cash from the toy company, but he got zero.
This summer, Public Enemy made a new album, “Nothing is Quick in the Desert,” available as a free download for a period of just six days. Though Flavor Flav was listed as an executive producer on the album, he says he was completely blindsided by it.
The suit says that Flav was contacted this spring about the project, and agreed to come to California to record. The suit states Flavor Flav “was upset to learn that he would have no input into the creative direction of the record” and had “requested a fee of $75,000 to record the album.” He recorded some phrases for the album but “did not believe these were final takes.” The suit states the rapper received an initial payment of $7,500 and was promised more but did not receive it. He states he never agreed for his vocals from the recording session to be used and never believed they would, as they were not up to his standards of quality.
“On or about June 29, 2017, Drayton was shocked to see that a new Public Enemy album was being released, and this his image was being used in multiple media outlets to promote the album. He had never heard of the album, nor heard any of the final mixes,” the lawsuit states. “Drayton’s photograph is also used on the liner notes to Nothing Is Quick In The Desert, and he is listed as an Executive Producer. He approved of neither of these uses of his name or photograph.”
Source: pagesix.com, tmz.com, eonline.com