Published Mar 31, 2020The month of March saw Flavor Flav being very publicly fired from Public Enemy over a supposed disagreement regarding a Bernie Sanders rally. And while that soon led us all down a ridiculous back-and-forth between the clock-wearing rapper and the group's Chuck D, the whole thing has now been revealed to be some elaborate April Fool's joke. Yes, really.
As if there weren't already enough going on in the world, we now need to come to terms with the fact that one of hip-hop's most iconic groups thought it was a good marketing strategy to stage this elaborate feud to sell us on a new album.
UPDATE (4/1, 4:45 p.m. ET): Adding a seriously confusing layer to all this, Flavor Flav now says he's not actually part of the hoax. Learn more here.
The record is called Loud Is Enough, and it comes from Public Enemy side-project Enemy Radio. The group is made up of Chuck D, DJ Lord, Jahi and the S1Ws, plus features Flavor Flav as a guest on the lead single "Food As a Machine Gun," which you can hear below alongside the entire album.
As a press release reveals, this complex prank on both the media and fans alike was inspired by the Orson Welles classic War of the Worlds.
To help you make sense of this, over to Chuck D, who released the following explanation:
I had watched Orson Welles' War of the Worlds from 1938 when he pulled the wool over the public's eyes as they put 100% belief in the technology of radio. Most people followed like a Pavlovic dog just like they do now. Flav doesn't do benefits and stays away from political events — we been cool and always agreed about that. Enemy Radio was built for that reason, to be a DJ+MC auxiliary unit of Public Enemy, a no-slack homage tossback to DJ+MC roots. It is DJ Lord, myself and Jahi with the S1Ws. Hearing the confused mush of political talk while under the bowels of Trumpotus made me use a presidential stage as my platform. Out of this storm came a plan between Flav and me to remind people that what's important should have as much, if not more, value than just what's popular. Thus came the HOAX, our War of the Worlds. Believe half of what you hear and NONE of what you see.
The press release goes on to further justify the all-caps "HOAX" as a way to "illustrate how the media disproportionately covers bad news over good news when it comes to hip-hop. While Public Enemy has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award and toured the world for over 30 years including performances at Coachella and Glastonbury, it was the conflict between the group's frontmen that made Chuck D a trending topic on social media and garnered global media attention."
Chuck D added:
So it's April 1, 2020 and as we hoard food and empty store shelves, Chuck D and Flavor Flav hijack it as April "FlavChuck" Day to end the HOAX with Enemy Radio's new song, "Food As a Machine Gun." "Don't Believe the Hype" 2020 style. That's right, this is Enemy Radio featuring Public Enemy, with more around the corner: Enemy Radio's debut album, Loud Is Not Enough, is here. "Food As a Machine Gun" is the first taste, an attack on the food industrial machine that opens minds to the direct need, dependency and necessity — yet killer — of our current lives, taking inspiration from Kristin Lawless and her book, Formerly Known As Food.
Read Chuck D's full statement on the HOAX here.
And if you are now suddenly interested in Enemy Radio, you can stream "Food as a Machine Gun" below, where you also find the full Loud Is Not Enough album.