Flavor Flav Biography


Birthday: March 16, 1959 (Pisces)

Born In: Roosevelt, New York, United States

Flavor Flav is an American musician and television personality who rose to prominence as a member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy. He demonstrated his talent at an early age but he was also a troubled child. He met Chuck D and the two quickly bonded over music and with two others formed the group - Public Enemy. Public Enemy ruled the hip-hop world with albums like Yo! Bum Rush the Show and It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. He played an important role in the group's success complementing Chuck's forceful personality with his playfulness. He wore a giant clock around his neck and excited the audience by spouting phrases like "Yeah, boyee!" into his microphone. But his talent was undermined by his addictions to Crack and cocaine and alcohol which affected his personal life as well. For much of the 1990s, he was away from music, either dealing with legal issues or trying to get over his addiction problems. He reappeared as the star of several VH1 reality series, including The Surreal Life, Strange Love, and Flavor of Love. He released his first solo album, Flavor Flav, also known as Hollywood to a tepid response from fans and critics.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: MC DJ Flavor Flav, William Jonathan Drayton Jr.

Age: 65 Years, 65 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Angie Parker, Karen Ross

siblings: Peter

children: Dazyna Drayton, Jasmine Drayton, Karma Drayton, Kayla Drayton, Quanah Drayton, Shaniq Drayton, William Drayton

Born Country: United States

Child Prodigies Restaurateurs

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Males

Notable Alumni: Adelphi University

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Adelphi University, culinary school

  • 1

    What is Flavor Flav known for?

    Flavor Flav is best known for being a member of the rap group Public Enemy and for his larger-than-life personality.

  • 2

    Why did Flavor Flav wear a clock around his neck?

    Flavor Flav started wearing a clock around his neck as a way to stand out and make a fashion statement. It became his signature look.

  • 3

    Has Flavor Flav been involved in any reality TV shows?

    Yes, Flavor Flav has been involved in several reality TV shows, including "The Surreal Life," "Strange Love," and "Flavor of Love."

  • 4

    What instrument does Flavor Flav play?

    Flavor Flav is known for playing the drums and occasionally providing vocals in addition to his role as a hype man in Public Enemy.

  • 5

    What is Flavor Flav's signature catchphrase?

    Flavor Flav's signature catchphrase is "Yeah, boyee!" which he often uses to hype up the crowd during performances.

Childhood & Early Life

Flavor Flav was born William Drayton on March 16, 1959, in Roosevelt, Long Island, New York. He was a musical prodigy - a self-taught pianist, who also played the drums, guitar, and 15 other instruments.

He often got on the wrong side of the law and was jailed for robbery and burglary many times. He dropped out of school in the 11th grade but graduated from culinary school in 1978.

Continue Reading Below

While attending Adelphi University on Long Island, he met Carlton Ridenhour, who became known as Chuck D while Flavor Flav took his stage name after his graffiti tag and rapped together.

Chuck D and Flav collaborated on the former’s hip-hop college radio show. In 1982, Flav, Chuck D, DJ Lord, Khari Wynn, and Professor Griff formed a hip-hop group called Public Enemy in Long Island.

’Yo! Bum Rush the Show’, the debut album of Public Enemy, was released in 1987 on Def Jam Recordings. Flav as the hypeman complemented Chuck D’s serious and politically charged rap.

Public Enemy’s album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, in 1988 went double platinum. Flav’s drumming was the hallmark of its single, ‘Rebel Without a Pause’.

The group’s political single, Fight the Power, released in 1989, was a call to stand up and fight injustice but contained disparaging lyrics about popular American icons Elvis Presley and John Wayne.

His first rap solo was, Life Of A Nigerian, while his first hit rapping solo in 1990 was, 911 Is a Joke, penned by him as part of the album, Fear of a Black Planet.

He was invited to participate in the VH1 reality show ‘The Surreal Life’ in which a select group of celebrities lived together, in 2004. During this show, he developed a relationship with actress Brigitte Nielsen.

VH1 gave Flav and Brigitte a show titled Strange Love, in 2005, which detailed their globetrotting adventure in love. At the end of Strange Love, Brigitte decided to return to her fiancé, Mattia Dessi.

The Comedy Central roast of Flavor Flav aired in 2007 and hosted Snoop Dogg, Brigitte Nielsen, Jimmy Kimmel, Carrot Top, Lisa Lampanelli, Ice-T, Jeff Ross, Katt Williams, Patton Oswalt, Greg Giraldo, and Sommore.

Continue Reading Below

The rapper hosted, Nite Tales: The Movie, a 2008 horror anthology that includes two movies: Karma and Storm. He is seen wearing his trademark large oversized necklace clock.

Between 2008 and 2009, he played Calvester Hill on the MyNetwork TV sitcom, Under One Roof, along with comic actor Kelly Perine playing his successful older brother and real-estate developer, Winston Hill.

He partnered with Nick Cimino to open Flav's Fried Chicken in 2011 in Iowa hoping to create a national restaurant franchise, but the restaurant closed within months with the partners blaming each other.

He and two others started Flavor Flav's Chicken & Ribs, in 2012, in Michigan. But this too was closed the following year after being evicted by its landlord for failure to pay rent.

In 2012, he appeared with his longtime fiancée Liz on ABC's, Celebrity Wife Swap, a reality television program. His fiancée traded places with Suzette, the wife of the band Twisted Sister’ front-man Dee Snider.

In 2012, he appeared as an honorary member of the UNLV Rebellion, an NCAA Division I men's basketball team, during the teams’ victory over San Diego State, 65-63. That same year, Public Enemy released 2 albums named “Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp” and “The Evil Empire of Everything.” Both albums received positive reviews from critics.

In 2015, the group released their thirteenth studio album titled “Man Plans God Laughs.” The album garnered praise from critics and earned a score of 70 out of 100 on Metacritic. They released their fourteenth album under the name “Nothing Is Quick in the Desert” which also received positive reviews from critics. The year 2020 saw the release of their fifteenth studio album “What You Gonna Do When the Grid Goes Down?” The album opened to a positive reception and hosted tracks like “GRID,” “Toxic,” and “Yesterday Man” among others.

Major Works

Flavor Flav, also known as ‘Hollywood’ was Flavor Flav’s first solo album and the only non-Public Enemy album made by him. The album reached No.80 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Flavor of Love, aired between 2006 and 2008 is a reality show. Flavor Flav looks for love and eventually marries Liz, the mother of his seventh child, Karma, on the Season 3 reunion show.


Flav was nominated for two consecutive years for the Teen Choice Awards in 2006 for Flavor of Love in the Choice Reality Star (Male) category, and also in the following year.

Personal Life & Legacy

Flav has dated many women and has seven children: Shaniq, Dazyna, Quanah, William, Jasmine, Kayla, and Karma. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with his current girlfriend Liz, the mother of Karma.

He has served jail sentences for assaulting his then-girlfriend, Karen Ross, for domestic violence, on drugs, driving, and felony-related charges, and with attempted murder for shooting at his neighbor.

He was arrested for speeding on his way to his mother’s funeral - was released on an appearance ticket so that he could attend his mother’s services who passed away on December 31, 2013.

Facts About Flavor Flav

Flavor Flav is a talented multi-instrumentalist, known for his skills on the piano, drums, and guitar.

He is a dedicated philanthropist, actively involved in various charitable causes and organizations.

Flavor Flav is also a successful entrepreneur, with ventures in the restaurant and merchandising industries.

He is a loving father to seven children, and family is a top priority in his life.


Grammy Awards
2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

See the events in life of Flavor Flav in Chronological Order

How To Cite

Article Title
- Flavor Flav Biography
- Editors, TheFamousPeople.com
- TheFamousPeople.com

People Also Viewed

Guy Fieri Biography
Guy Fieri
Kimbal Musk Biography
Kimbal Musk
Bobby Flay Biography
Bobby Flay
Joe Bastianich Biography
Joe Bastianich
David Chang Biography
David Chang
Emeril Lagasse Biography
Emeril Lagasse
Mario Batali Biography
Mario Batali
Billy Mitchell Biography
Billy Mitchell