Flavor Flav knows how to make an entrance — but it’s safe to say basketball fans weren’t expecting to see the rapper and reality TV star singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at an NBA game.
The Milwaukee Bucks invited the Public Enemy co-founder to sing the national anthem at Sunday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. Featuring his signature oversized, glittery watch chain and a No. 59 (a nod to the year of his birth) Bucks jersey, the 64-year-old artist delivered a now-viral performance that garnered mixed reactions.
But Flav, 64, doesn’t care about the critics, telling Yahoo Entertainment exclusively that performing the iconic song has been a long-time dream.
“I look at it as one thing I’ve checked off my bucket list,” he says. “When it was said and done, I said to myself, ‘You finally did something you’ve always wanted to do, and you did a great job.’ You managed.'”
Flav, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., added with a laugh: “I was proud of myself because I didn’t get a single word wrong and sang every word right.”
“Can I sing the national anthem at the game one day?”
Fans expect to see singers, known or unknown, singing the anthem before sporting events, but seeing such an iconoclastic rapper take on the task came as a bit of a shock to many. Some wondered how Flav even got the gig.
“I met with the president of the Milwaukee Bucks, Peter Feigin, and asked him, ‘Can I sing the national anthem at the game one day?'” Flav explains. “He said, ‘Send me a video of you doing it.’ I sent him a video of me doing it. They liked it. And they gave me the invitation and the opportunity. So I jumped on it, man. I jumped on it and threw it out of the box. And it was fun. It was great. I had a nice time.”
Flav says he took his time singing the song and the gamegoers cheered him on throughout the performance, especially during the big vocal moments of the anthem.
“I was a little nervous for a second‘
Flav has been rocking stages since the ’80s and is known to have appeared on several reality shows. With his successful show, he is considered a pioneer in the TV dating sector Taste of love. But performing the anthem was a unique experience – and he knew that if he screwed it up à la the infamous, something could go very wrong Roseanne Barr Reproduction.
“I really prepared mentally, that was the mental part I was preparing for, even though I was warming up my voice and all that stuff. “There are a lot of people who sing the national anthem,” he says, “and usually a lot of people put their own spin on it.” So I said, the first time I do this, I’m going to put my own spin on it, and that I have done. I put my own spin on it and it was great.”
Although Flav had some nerves, he made sure he went in with the right attitude.
“I was a little nervous for a second, but I said, ‘I’ll do it.’ I’m going to knock this thing out.’ …and that’s what I did. That’s what I set out to do and I did it. God is good, man.”
‘Everyone will talk. All‘I’ll have something to say.‘
While there have been many notable performances of national anthems by famous personalities, two of them have been mentioned by basketball fans as being based on Flav’s original rendition Marvin Gayeattended the 1983 NBA All-Star Game and was praised for it chilled and sultry atmosphereand on the other side, Fergies wafer-thin version at the NBA All-Star Game in 2018, the was widely panned.
“I saw a lot of reactions and stuff. I’ve seen a lot of positive reactions, I’ve seen a lot of negative reactions. And not all negative reactions outweigh the positive ones, which is a plus for me,” says Flav.
“And not only that, despite all the negative reactions, I don’t let anything stop me. Everyone will talk. Everyone will have something to say. But I won’t let anything anyone has to say affect my positivity.”
“This isn’t the last time.”‘
Fans and critics can now watch Flav’s viral performance online, but some may even get the chance to see it in person.
“This is not the last time you will hear me sing the national anthem. “I’ll do it again somewhere else,” he teases. “I just don’t know where and I don’t know when, but it’s going to go downhill.” So keep your eyes and ears open.
Flav also has some advice for all dreamers.
“As long as you keep trying, you will eventually succeed. But if you give up on it, it will definitely be a failure,” he says. “I tried again and again until I finally got it and it worked. To everyone who has dreams, all you have to do is just keep following your dreams and listening to your gut feeling and I guarantee you that all of that will lead to you ending up where you are who they always wanted to be.”
‘MMy heart and gratitude go out to all the people who do this‘I’ve loved Public Enemy for all these years.
In addition to his memorable performance on the field, he is looking forward to celebrating another milestone. Enemy of the state announced a new vinyl reissue of the group’s second LP from 1988. It takes a nation of millions to hold us back, in honor of the album’s 35th anniversary. It coincides with hip-hop’s 50th anniversary this year.
“It takes a nation of millions to hold us back was always one of my favorite creations that we did as Public Enemy, you know, and I’m just honored that this album still has a lot of weight right now. But it wouldn’t have been possible without all the people who support us,” says Flav.
“All of our fans and our die-hard fans are the ones who have kept this album alive for all of 35 years. So my heart and gratitude go out to all the people who have loved Public Enemy for all these years and have ridden with us for all these years.”
He and Chuck D are expected to be together on Friday for this year’s Rock and Rock Hall of Fame induction ceremony.