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William Drayton (1959- ), better known as Flavor Flav, is an American rapper. He was a part of the hip hop act Public Enemy, playing sidekick to Chuck D. They reached their height in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the 2000s Flav appeared in several reality shows on television, most notably “Flavor of Love”, one of VH1’s most successful shows.

He is known for saying “Yeah BOYYYEEE!” and “Wow!”. He likes to wear a huge clock and, sometimes, a Viking helmet with horns. He also wears big hats, big sunglasses and gold teeth. Off stage, though, he is well-mannered and well-spoken.

Public Enemy rapped about serious issues. Chuck D compared it to the New York Times. Flavor Flav’s “911 is a Joke”, for example, was about how slow ambulances are in coming to save people in black neighbourhoods.

Flav got the idea of wearing a clock from one of the men in the recording studio who always had a stopwatch hanging from his neck.

Flav was part rapper, part showman but he can also play the piano, drums and guitar. He is a classically trained pianist.

He is still a part of Public Enemy, which still tours and puts out records.

Flav came out with an album of his own in 2006, “Flavor Flav”. It reached #80 on the American hip hop chart. The Source gives it 2.5 stars. It came out under his own label: Draytown. Def Jam, the record label for Public Enemy, would not touch it.

Flav was arrested several times for drugs, in 1996 for marijuana. In 1997 he overdosed. He says he no longer does drugs.

His over-the-top style plays well on reality television. In 2004 he appeared on VH1 on season three of “The Surreal Life”, a show where has-beens live together in a big house somewhere in California. There he had a relationship with Brigitte Nielsen, one that was continued in 2005 for viewers at home in the show “Strange Love”. That did well enough that VH1 gave him his own show, “Flavor of Love”, which ran for three seasons.

On “Flavor of Love” (2006-2008), Flav picks out 20 women from among the hundreds who try out and then lives with them in a big house somewhere in California. Every week he chooses one woman to go home until there is only one left, the winner of the show.

The aim was supposedly for Flav to find a woman who would truly love him for him and not just for her moment in the spotlight. Well, none of the women truly loved him – they just wanted their moment in the spotlight. Not that it mattered: as it turned out, Flav already had a woman.

The show made him famous again and filled his bank account, but it was sad to see someone who was once part of Public Enemy sell out like that.

He comes from the same black middle-class town on Long Island that Chuck D and Eddie Murphy come from: Roosevelt, New York.

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“Flavor of Love” (2006- ) is an American television show on VH1. It features Flavor Flav, a has-been rapper, in his search for a woman who will truly love him – or something reasonably romantical. At the start of each season he has 20 women to choose from. Every week he kicks off one woman until only one is left standing.

Even though the show is completely tasteless it is like a bad car accident: you do not want to look but it is hard not to.

The show puts blacks in a bad light as brainless and ill-mannered (Flav and most of the women are black), yet it has been able to pull in as much as a third of all blacks watching television in its hour!

It is one of VH1’s most successful shows. Three other shows have come out of it: “I Love New York”, “Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School” and “I Love Money: Challenge Show”.

BET, the main black cable channel in America, has never had a weekly show this big. It too has put out tasteless shows in hopes of getting bigger audiences, but without any luck.

Deelishis

Flavor Flav picks 20 women from the hundreds who try out. He gives the chosen women nicknames, like New York, Hoopz, Bootz, Buckeey, Hotlanta and Deelishis. That becomes their names on the show.

A few of the women are truly beautiful, like Hoopz, but most are more body than beauty.

The women’s motives are questionable. Since Flav is ugly and old enough to be their father, we have to assume that either they are after his money (does he have any?) or, more likely, the chance to be on television and maybe become famous.

So Flav’s challenge becomes to find which woman, if any, has a true heart. Sometimes he calls in help from his mother or an old girlfriend.

New York

Flavor Flav was a rapper in Public Enemy, a well-respected hip hop act from the late 1980s and early 1990s. He likes to wear a clock, Viking horns and call out his name: “FLAY vuh FLAVE!” And say, “Wow”.

Flav and the women live in a big house in California. It has two dinosaurs in front, each wearing a clock and Viking horns. Of course.

Like a minstrel show, “Flavor of Love” holds up certain stereotypes of blacks for laughs: Flav as a coon, New York as a Sapphire and so on.

It is called a reality show, meaning the lines are unscripted. But just how out of touch the show is became clear when New York’s mother came to visit. New York told her mother that she loooves Flav and wants to marry him. Her mother took one look at Flav and said the man was a clown: he is 48 years old and wears a large clock!

Hoopz

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