Flavor Flav (born William Jonathan Drayton, Jr. on March 16, 1959), is a rap artist and member of the influential and politically-conscious hip hop group Public Enemy. Born in Roosevelt, Long Island, NY, Flav, a classically-trained pianist, attended Adelphi University in Long Island where, while rapping under the name MC DJ Flavor, he met then graphic design student Carlton Ridenhour (Chuck D). Chuck D compiled DJ Terminator X, Professor Griff and Flavor Flav to form Public Enemy and release the debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show in 1987.
Flav participated in Public Enemy as second rapper or vocalist (vocals were mostly done by Chuck D), and as the band's drummer. His stuttering vocal style has influenced rappers including Busta Rhymes and the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. Providing a comic foil to the political message of Chuck D, some credit Flav with the development of the role of the rap sidekick (often referred to as a "Hype Man"). While in the group, Flav had numerous brushes with the law. During the time of the band's success, Flav was also a heavy drug abuser, most notably of crack, and had his driver's license suspended at least 48 times, though he currently claims to no longer use drugs.
Flav credits himself as having been the originator of the current platinum grill craze in hip-hop fashion. Though Flav himself has vehemently stated that he would never wear platinum teeth himself, his near-constant wearing of gold teeth has inspired other rappers to get gold or platinum teeth, he claims. However, Jack Johnson (boxer), the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World, had gold-capped front teeth years before Flav was born.
He often wears a clock around his neck, stating that observers will "know what time it is." The clock is set to either twelve o'clock ("straight up") or six o'clock ("straight up and straight down"). The clock became one of Flav's trademarks, along with comic sunglasses. Flav is also known to wear flashy colors, such as hot pink, and a metal-horned helmet on his head, while Chuck D used to perform in dark colors, and the Security of the 1st World wear military uniform. Flav realizes that his style is bizarre, and he is proud of his own uniqueness. Another trademark of Flav is his catchphrase, a loud and exaggerated "Yeeeeaaaahhhh Booooyyyy!"
Flav has reportedly completed two solo albums, both of which were rejected by his record label, Def Jam. A third LP, It's About Time, was due to be released in 1999 but never appeared.
In 2002, Flavor Flav was recruited by New York City's hip-hop radio station upstart Power 105 to do the traffic reports.
In 2003, Flavor Flav appeared in the Taking Back Sunday video, "You're So Last Summer", the Pop punk band are a big change from Flavor Flav's own musical roots, but shows his widespread character and appeal. He also appeared in TV spots for the then up-and-coming Reno 911! show on Comedy Central in his signature garb around the same time.
In 2004, Flavor Flav appeared in the third season of The Surreal Life on VH1, in which he had an on-screen relationship with Brigitte Nielsen, who called Flav "Foofy Foofy." He and Nielsen continued their odd pairing on VH1's reality show Strange Love. Due to mutual jealousy, the couple was constantly fighting and yelling. In March 2005, Brigitte ended her relationship with Flavor Flav, choosing instead to live with her Italian boyfriend, Mattia Dessi.
Sometime after the premiere of Strange Love, Flav started to come under fire from various organizations and individuals including North Carolina's Reverend Paul Scott, who labeled Flav's performance a "coon act" on "a modern day minstrel show." Episodes have shown Flav acting up at a Public Enemy concert as well as having confrontations with his children and their mother, who have received no child support from him. Chuck D went as far as issuing a statement to denounce Flav's participation on Strange Love. A petition was set up in conjunction with Chuck D's criticisms in hopes of convincing VH1 to pull the show off of the air. VH1 continued to broadcast the program in spite of protests, which showed Flav and Brigitte going their separate ways in the end.
In May 2005 Flav appeared on yet another reality show, The Farm on UK channel five.
Recently, Flavor has been shooting his new reality show, "Flavor of Love", for VH1. The show premiered on Jan 1st, 2006. The show is out and features Flav and 20 (reduced to 15 in the first show, and now 10 after the January 8th airing) women from which he intends to choose, bachelor-style. The show started with somewhat of an attempt to paint Flav in a good light. He expressed a desire to settle down and find a companion. Flav has plans to increase his family by having more children as soon as possible.
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Hip-hop MC (and comedy relief) of the group Public Enemy.
Arrested for carrying two pounds of marijuana. [6 December 1996]
Classically trained pianist
Can play the guitar, drums and piano.
Was known for his crowd-pleasing "Flavor Flav Dance" which consisted of jerky, twisty arm movements. He then created "The New Flavor Flav Dance" in which he would pretend he was being posessed by a spirit.
Recorded a solo album in 1999 called "It's About Time" but it was never released.
Flavor Flav Photos
Flavor Flav sighting at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
Flavor Flav's House of Flavor Grand Opening in Las Vegas on March 15, 2012
1st Annual Hip-Hop Skid Row Street Festival
Public Enemy Hosts "Worship Thursday" Tao Nightclub in Las Vegas on August 18, 2011
Flavor Flav "Flavor Flav: The Icon The Memoir" Book Signing at the Las Vegas Hilton on August 6, 2011
Flavor Flav Celebrates His 50th Birthday at JET Nightclub Las Vegas on March 20, 2009