Long Island, New York’s legendary emcee Flavor Flav turns 64 today. Born on March 16th 1959, the East Coast Hip-Hop pioneer is the founding member of the influential Hip-Hop group Public Enemy alongside Chuck D. Flavor Flav, born William Jonathan Drayton Jr., founded Public Enemy in 1985 and laid one of the earliest foundations of rap music.
Public Enemy’s incendiary discography highlighted America’s pervasive racism, gun violence and racial discrimination at the time. With provocative LPs including the group’s 1998 record, “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”, “Fear of a Black Planet” (1990) and “Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Back” (1991), Public Enemy pioneered black protest music and brought political and social themes to classic Hip-Hop.
Throughout Hip-Hop’s Old-school Boom Bap era, Flavor Flav brought the lives of disenfranchised blacks and racial police brutality to notice. Notably, Public Enemy is the Earliest Hip-Hop Act alive alongside LL Cool J and has released 15 LPs during their career. Their last LP, “What You Gone Do When The Grid Comes Down?” was released on September 25th 2020. Featuring guest verses by Run-DMC, Cypress Hill, Black Thought, Ice T and Nas, the 17-track album is one of the last imprints of Classic Old-School Hip-Hop.
It’s an honour for our publication to write about one of the greatest to ever do it.
Listen to Flavor Flav’s historic rap records here via Spotify.