- NAME: Flavor Flav
- OCCUPATION: Rapper, Singer, Reality Television Star
- BIRTH DATE: March 16, 1959 (Age: 54)
- Did You Know?: Flavor Flav reportedly owns more than 100 clocks.
- Did You Know?: Flavor Flav opened a restaurant called Flav's Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, in 2011.
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Roosevelt, Long Island, New York
- Full Name: William Jonathan Drayton Jr.
- AKA: Flavor Flav
- AKA: Flava Flav
- AKA: William Jonathan Drayton
- AKA: William Drayton
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Best Known For
Flavor Flav is an American hip-hop artist known for his work with Public Enemy and for his appearances on the VH1 reality-television series The Surreal Life, Strange Love and Flavor of Love.
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Born William Jonathan Drayton Jr. in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York, on March 16, 1959, Flavor Flav is an American hip-hop artist known for his work with Public Enemy—also including Chuck D, Norman Rogers (Terminator X) and Richard Griffin (Professor Griff)—and for his work on several reality-television series, including The Surreal Life, Strange Love and Flavor of Love, airing on VH1.
"I have over a hundred clocks. I've got fancy clocks and clocks from all over the world that people made for me."
"I try and spend a lot of time with my kids. I try and have fun with my kids. I try to put father time in there."
"I'll tell you one thing you can't do: You can't put your shoes on, then your socks on."
Flavor Flav was born William Jonathan Drayton Jr., on March 16, 1959, in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York. Flav was raised in the working-class town of Freeport, Long Island, where his father owned a small restaurant called the Soul Diner.
At an early age, Flav demonstrated he was an intelligent but troubled child. Music came easy to him, and Flav taught himself how to play piano, drums and guitar. He also sang in the youth choir at his church.
But Flav struggled keeping himself out of trouble. He got into petty theft, and as a young child he accidentally burned his family's home down, the result of playing with lighters. By the time Flav, who quit high school in the 11th grade, was well into his teens he had already strung together several short jail stints for robbery and burglary.
His life seemed to bounce back when he met Carlton Ridenhour (who later became known as Chuck D). The two quickly bonded over music. Flav, who soon adopted his new moniker in honor of his graffiti tag, joined his friend on Chuck's hip-hop radio show at Adelphi University, where Chuck studied graphic design.
After Chuck graduated, the two aspiring musicians landed work delivering furniture in Chuck's father's U-Haul truck. By this time, the two had gotten to know and started to work with the two others who would round out Public Enemy's lineup: Norman Rogers (Terminator X) and Richard Griffin (Professor Griff). It was an early demo that found its way to the offices of a new label, Def Jam Records, and its founder, producer Rick Rubin. Rubin liked what he heard, and in 1986 Public Enemy inked a deal with him.
From the start, the hip-hop group's sound was unlike any other rap that had made its way on to the airwaves. They brought a militant focus to their music and the group's persona, drawing heavy inspiration from the Black Panthers. "You won't see Public Enemy with no 40s and no blunts putting anything in our bodies that'll be detrimental to our existence," the group's iron-fisted leader, Chuck D, promised.
Public Enemy was political and antagonizing, and for five years, beginning in 1987, it ruled the hip-hop world with albums like Yo! Bum Rush the Show (1987) and It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988).
Flav played an important role in the group's success. Next to Chuck's forceful personality, Flav's onstage persona maintained a certain playfulness. He anchored his look with a giant clock that he wore around his neck, and turned up the volume in concert by spouting phrases like "Yeah, boyee!" into his microphone.
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