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Flavor Flav on Addiction, Coining the Title of a Tone Loc Song, and How a Crackhead Started His Clock Trend

"FLAVAAA FLAV!!"
"FLAVAAA FLAV!!"
Jena Ardell

Q: Why did Flavor Flav arrive late to his discussion at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles last night?

A: Because he left his clock at home.

Sounds almost too comical to be true, but that is exactly what happened.

Flavor Flav felt honored to be invited to the Grammy Museum.
Flavor Flav felt honored to be invited to the Grammy Museum.
Jena Ardell

Despite the late start, Flavor Flav proved to be a well-spoken and entertaining guest at the Grammy Museum's "An Evening with Flavor Flav," mediated by Scott Goldman.

Flavor Flav discussed his new (and first) book, Flavor Flav: The Icon The Memoir, which hit shelves yesterday. By discussing his struggles with addiction, Flav hopes the memoir will help prevent readers from making similiar mistakes.

"I made a lot of mistakes within my life ... and I feel that God let me live through those mistakes so that way I can be able to teach about it ... he made me a major mouthpiece," Flavor Flav said during the discussion. "When I speak, millions of people listen, y'know, and I got the power to take one million lives at one time and shift them like a school of fish."

"Honesty is the best policy," says Flavor Flav.
"Honesty is the best policy," says Flavor Flav.
Jena Ardell

Flavor Flav first gained notability (and notoriety) as one of the founding members and hype-man for the rap group Public Enemy.

Public Enemy paved the way for both hip hop and the music industry as a whole by being the first group to ever insert samples into songs. They also were the first group to bring rap to England and the first rap group to perform at London Arena.

"I didn't know black people lived in England!" Flav said. "It was a trip to see black people over there with English accents."

Flavor Flav spies someone he knows in the audience.
Flavor Flav spies someone he knows in the audience.
Jena Ardell

Flavor Flav described his addiction problem as "embarrassing" and said his move to Los Angeles saved his life and gave him a purpose. While in Los Angeles, Flavor Flav soon realized he had to quit drugs in order to pursue his dream of having a television and movie career.

Becoming sober was only part of Flavor Flav's formula for success. He also credits the Law of Attraction for his rise to stardom.

"If you think positive--positive can happen. If you think negative--the negative can happen," he said. "The way you think--that's what comes to your life."

During the discussion, we were surprised to learn that Flavor Flav coined a term that became one of the most popular songs in the '80s.

Showing off that infamous gold grill.
Showing off that infamous gold grill.
Jena Ardell

Back in the '80s, the Beastie Boys renamed the alcoholic drink "fuzzy navel" by adopting one of Flav's catch phrases. Soon, the drink was being called a "Cold Medina."

"Tone Loc, one day, said, 'Yo Flav, what's "Cold Medina" man?' I said, 'It means cold pumpin', no slumpin', it's the bag you wanna be jumpin.' I said, 'Yo, you should use that in one of your records, man, I'm tellin' you.'"

Tone Loc took Flav's advice, of course, and wrote "Funky Cold Medina," a song which sold 3 million copies.

The clock Flav sported last night was a gift from Kelly Ripa.
The clock Flav sported last night was a gift from Kelly Ripa.
Jena Ardell

Flavor Flav might not be best-known for coining the term "Cold Medina," but he is known for brazen (and bizarre) fashion statements, like wearing clocks around his neck. (And in case you're wondering, yes, Flav wears a clock around his neck every day).

When asked how the trend started, Flav said: "Back in the day, the fad was stop watches ... then this crackhead came through our projects [selling shower clocks] and my boy ... took the stopwatch off my head and plopped a clock around my head... and said 'We dare you to wear this around your neck during the show'."

Flav first wore the clock when Public Enemy opened for the Beastie Boys in Passaic, New Jersey in the late '80s.

"Chuck D wore a clock... for about four and a half years but he took his off--And I'm like, 'You go ahead and can take yours off--I'm wearing mine'!" Flav said. "I think one of the greatest things I did was to keep mine on."

Flavor Flav presented the Grammy Museum with a clock for their collection.
Flavor Flav presented the Grammy Museum with a clock for their collection.
Jena Ardell

A French clock?!
A French clock?!
Jena Ardell

New addition to the Grammy Museum.
New addition to the Grammy Museum.
Jena Ardell

Flavor Flav shared his laundry list of new business ventures, including a partnership with the Riveria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas; a new reality show, which he described as "an updated version of Happy Days," set in one of his Flavor Flav's Chicken (FFC) franchises; a line of alcohol called "Le Flav Spirits," which features cherry, berry, grape, sweet tea vodka and bubblegum-flavored vodkas, as well as wines, cognac and a "Brooklyn iced tea."

Flav's next life goal might surprise you--he wants to earn a high school diploma while his mother is still living.

"I don't want a GED ... I want to get [my diploma] in a cap and gown!" Flav said.

The discussion was followed by a Q&A session with the audience, a drum performance by Flavor Flav, and a book signing, where Flav happily interacted with fans, gave hugs and posed for photographs.

Impromptu Flavor Flav drum solo.
Impromptu Flavor Flav drum solo.
Jena Ardell

The drums are one of the 15 instruments Flavor Flav knows how to play. (Don't ask us what the other 14 instruments are).
The drums are one of the 15 instruments Flavor Flav knows how to play. (Don't ask us what the other 14 instruments are).
Jena Ardell

Flavor Flav on drums!
Flavor Flav on drums!
Jena Ardell