Flavor Flav Speaks Candidly About His Addiction & Why It Was Time For Change
From Public Enemy to reality television, Flavor Flav has been a star within music and culture. While his legendary Hip-Hop group condemned drug addiction, Flav publicly battled substance abuse. Since the group’s success in the early 1990s, Flav had several high-profile arrests, including several with drug charges.
In one of his most intimate interviews, Flav opens up to DJ Vlad about his struggles, and taking a stand against his vices. Vlad asks Flav about P.E.’s “Night Of The Living Baseheads” music video, which the rapper says featured actual users on their highs. The host asks his guest if the song created any personal conflict, given the fact that Flav was also using. “To tell you the truth, I had no guilty feelings about it. Because, I ain’t gonna lie, around that time, I was going like 180 miles per hour with that drug sh*t, with that coke and crack sh*t. That was one of the worst mistakes that I could’ve really ever made with my life, experimenting with drugs. Drugs, them sh*ts is real easy to get on, and hard as hell to get off. If I would’ve known that back in those days, then I don’t think I would’ve experimented with it. I got to the point where I was spending like $2,300 to $2,500 dollars per day on coke and crack. And I did that sh*t for six years straight. Do the math. That’s a lot of money, bro.”
Flav continues, admitting that his addiction had reached life-threatening levels. “I thank God that I’m still living today and to be able to talk about it. Now I can teach about it. I can teach about the mistakes that I made and hopefully people won’t make the same mistakes now. I had a lot of people around me that was supposed to be my friends, but when I would go to the bathroom or something, they would steal my sh*t. And I would come back and my pile would be smaller. I thank God for those thieving-ass friends I had because if it wasn’t for them stealing my sh*t, maybe those could have been the hits that took me out. So, I did learn a lot from going through that. It was a nightmare being on drugs. It took me away from my family and had me to where I was late to all of my gigs. It doesn’t give a f*ck about you. That’s one thing I can say about drugs. Drugs don’t give a f*ck about you. Drugs is like a robot that we built and we’re supposed to be in control of this robot. But when the robot starts smacking you around and telling you what to do, it’s time to either destroy the robot or reprogram it. That’s one thing I didn’t do. I didn’t try to reprogram it. I didn’t try to destroy it. I just let it do what it did to me.”
After addressing his past, the Roosevelt, Long Island representative describes his tuna-round, and keeping himself accountable. “I feel real good to be clean from that sh*t. Now there’s times that I’m around people and they’re sniffing coke and doing this and doing that, and it doesn’t bother me. I’m not stupid enough to stay around it because I was f*cked up off of that for 18 years. So that means you’re going through a dark-ass tunnel for 18 years. Now in order for you to get out of that tunnel, you gotta turn around and come back 18 years. The same distance that it takes for you to go there, it’s going to take the same amount of time for you to get back. Now, I’ve been clean off of coke and crack for about eight-and-a-half years. I still got about 10 to go before I can be back to where I was. So right now, to this day, yes, addiction can still set into me. That’s why I’m smart enough not to f*ck with that sh*t.”
Closing the interview, the famed hype-man discusses Public Enemy’s third studio album, Fear Of A Black Planet, the success of the group following the release of, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and how Flav’s drug use affected the group as a whole. Without naming names, Flav also suggests that he was not the only member of the group to battle some vices.
In 2017, P.E. released Nothing Is Quick In The Desert (Except Death).