After I watched Flavor Flav give the booking agent at the Aggie Theatre a piece of his mind for advertising his show as Public Enemy (oversized plastic clock and all) Saturday, I walked into a small office with the rapper/TV star and his girlfriend.
Hoping that he had time to cool down after the conflict, I offered him my chair because there were only two in the room. Being a gentleman, he told me he would stand and I should get comfortable. As we started into the questions concerning Public Enemy, reality TV and what plans he has for the future, I realized that he was the radiant, polite and outgoing guy who I got to know this last year on VH1.
Collegian: Let's start out with how the new tour is going – what kind of venues are you guys playing? What's the vibe like out there?
Flavor Flav: Well right now you know I'm doin' Flavor Flav solo shows. You know me and my partner Chuck D are putting together the next Public Enemy album then we're going to be doin' a Public Enemy tour. I know that we'll be touring over in the United Kingdom in March. Right now, I'm just putting together some dates here in the states 'cause I want everybody to feel what I got coming. I want to introduce my solo album to the states.
Collegian: Do you have any of the new songs you are going to be performing (tonight)?
FF: I'm going to perform a few of my songs tonight off of my new album, titled?. I'm still going to give everybody some Flavor Flav that they know.
Collegian: So you're still working with Chuck D then?
FF: Always. We're always going to be partners until the day we die. On the next one, not the album that we got coming, but the next one I'm going to try to pull together one more time the Bomb Squad and try to do one more album (with the Bomb Squad) for you guys before we really decide to do our own things.
Collegian: Does it feel like the celebrity hype surrounding you since the "Surreal Life" has blown up more so than with Public Enemy in the early '90s?
FF: Yes man. Not only that, but TV has brought me a different fan base than from records. You know there's a lot of fans right now that I have that are brand new. A lot of brand-new fans that don't know nothing about Public Enemy but yet they know me from TV and they love me, you know what I mean. I got almost as much people from TV than I did with records all of these years.
Collegian: You loving it?
FF: I'm lovin' it right now and I want to stay on TV. That's why I moved out to LA.
Collegian: What would you say about Strange Love for the people who have not seen the show yet?
FF: The show is real. Bridget's real (Bridget who?). Flavor's real. There's no script and nothing like that. Everything you see is how we felt. If anyone wants to know about Bridget, she's over in England doin' a reality show called "Big Brother" and right now we're talking about "Strange Love Two."
Collegian: Are there any regrets for doing the "Surreal Life"?
FF: No man, I would have regretted it if I didn't do it.
It seems like it would be kind of hard to be yourself on TV with them filming you all the time after only being on stage all those years with your stage persona.
FF: Well let me tell you something, I can't be nobody but myself. Ya know what I'm saying? The thing that makes the world love Flav is Flav being himself. So honestly man, to tell you the truth: it was not hard to be myself. It was real easy (he starts laughing).
Collegian: What about a favorite or least favorite episode (of the "Surreal Life").
FF: My favorite episode from the "Surreal Life" was when we had the kids. We had to teach the kids music and I taught this little girl Rosa how to really give her accordion energy, and she rocked, she kicked ass on that.
Collegian: Were there any shows when the editing got the best of you? Did they put it together wrong?
FF: Yeah man. Just like the part when she jumped in my bed buck-naked and here we are under the covers, and I grind my teeth a lot and she hates that sound, so she tells me to quit doing that with my teeth. But up on top of the covers people are thinking there's some other s**t goin' on. (Leaning into the microphone) No, it ain't like that, folks, trust Flav (laughing).
Collegian: What were you up to between the time Public Enemy stopped recording and you were filming the "Surreal Life"? Did you have side projects going on at the time?
FF: Well you see, when Public Enemy did stop recording we were overseas, we've been overseas for the past seven years doin' shows. United States didn't really know about that so the United States thinks we broke up or they thought we stopped making records. No, we took a long vacation from the states but we have been working all this time. We'll never break up.
Collegian: Now that you're back on the road with DJ Lord, how has the crowd and vibe changed at the concerts since you guys (Public Enemy) were touring here in the states?
FF: Well the only way the vibe changed was because a different change of crowd. Everything else stayed the same, the game just got rearranged.
Collegian: Has the message changed at all for you?
FF: No, the message didn't change because the main thing we got to do right now we have just keep our composure. And one thing that Public Enemy was about, was keeping your composure. That will never change. And when it comes down to Flavor Flav's solo shows, you all know Flavor's loose. He just does his own thing, he keeps his composure. Sometimes Flavor loses it and when he loses it he (quickly into the microphone) gets it all back.
Collegian: What do you think the crowd will be like here in Fort Collins since this is your first time performing here?
FF: I expect the crowd to come down here and have a good time. I'm hoping that they don't expect to see Public Enemy which was falsely advertised on the flier. I'm going to try and just fill in the gap, try and fill in this Public Enemy void – the reason I'm not going to cancel out is because that would be f**ked up to my fans.
Collegian: What's your impression of the rap scene today?
FF: Well let me tell you like this, the rap scene right now has taken its own course and its own direction because you have so many rap records of all different calibers coming out. And me, I favor everybody, I like everybody and the reason why is because I want everyone to favor Flav. If I favor one certain rapper or one certain singer then only one certain singer/rappers are going to favor Flav. So me, I'm just a friendly ghost and not only that I'm a musician. I like all kinds of music. And everybody making records right now is definitely respected by Flav. (Leaning into the microphone intensely) And for all you new comers just starting to make records: welcome aboard.
Collegian: To wrap this up, can I get some words of wisdom from Flavor Flav for the people reading this interview?
FF: I want to thank everybody first of all for watching Flavor Flav on VH1, because without you guys I wouldn't have been able to get the number one spot two shows in a row. Thank you Fort Collins. And also, thanks for all the years supporting Public Enemy because without you there would be no "us." And I just want to say to everybody: I believe in God. God is the one that controls all the moments. The only thing that he lets us do is control our own actions and at the end of the day that's how he judges us. Can't nobody else judge us. But you individually is the best friend you got. You can't trust nobody like you trust yourself. Ain't nobody going to take care of yourself better than you will take care of yourself but God gives you the power to do it. Good luck with everybody's futures, goals, families and may everybody have a very prosperous 2005. And may this 2005 be better than any year that you lived.