Flavor Flav is an American rapper, classically trained pianist, trombonist, television star, hype man, DJ and member of the politically conscious hip hop group Public Enemy.
His visual trademark is an oversized clock hanging from his neck.
After falling out of the public eye in former years, he has recently reappeared as a star of American reality television. He has starred in multiple VH1 programs including Flavor of Love and the 2007 Comedy Central Roast.
A classically trained pianist, he was rapping under the alias MC DJ Flavor when he first met graphic design student Carlton Ridenhour, who under the name Chuck D formed Public Enemy in 1982; following the release of their 1987 debut LP Yo! Bum Rush the Show, the group emerged as the most important act in hip-hop.
As the cartoonish counterpoint to Chuck's authoritarian presence, Flavor Flav essentially invented the role of the rap sidekick, innovating the absurdist delivery later borrowed by everyone from Busta Rhymes to Ol' Dirty Bastard.
With his gold teeth, clownish sunglasses, and omnipresent clock dangling from his neck, Flavor also became PE's visual focus, taking lead vocal duties on hits including the classic "911 Is a Joke."
Even as Public Enemy's influence waned in the mid-'90s, Flavor Flav continued to make headlines for his frequent run-ins with the law; he also worked on his long-awaited solo album, reportedly delivering two completed records to Def Jam which the label rejected on both occasions.
A full-length titled It's About Time was set to be released on the Lightyear imprint in late 1999, but it never surfaced.
Despite him being the stand out of Public Enemy projects, it took until 2006 for Flav to put out his solo debut album, released during the second season of his hit reality show, Flavor of Love.
Throughout the 1990s, Flav was arrested numerous times on assault and drug charges. After a drug overdose, he went to rehab in 1997 and has claimed to be sober since.
Flav still raps as a member of Public Enemy though the group often went through hiatus, leading Flav to find different ways to reclaim celebrity.