Social Commentary



Flavor Flav and co-owner Nick Cimino speak to Clinton mayor Rodger Holm and discuss where the fire exits would have been if anyone had bothered to think this thing through for more than half of a second

by Ryan Meehan
When we were younger I remember Ben Ingelson had the cassette tape of “Yo! Bum Rush the Show” by Public Enemy.  At the time I was extremely drawn to it due to the fact that middle aged white people were terrified of them and I loved that more than anything else in the world at that point in my life.  They looked like a more modern version of the Black Panther party, only with a louder PA system.  PE even had a security team on stage called S1W (Security of the First World) that marched, carried flags, and packed Uzis.  They were a pretty crazy sight to see if nothing else. 
But the one member I was never able to figure out was Flavor Flav.  He wasn’t very active in the verses of the songs or how they progressed.  He did rap, but not a whole lot, wore brightly colored clothing, huge sunglasses and a clock around his neck.  Apparently from the beginning the record company loved the group but didn’t want anything to do with Flav, yet eventually caved in and signed PE anyway.  
In 2003 I had read online that Flav (real name William Drayton, now age 51) had agreed to participate in a reality TV show called “The Surreal Life”.  I was actually kind of excited to see him make a jackass out of himself, not realizing how much of his street credibility he was about to lose. 

But, like so many victims before him that were claimed by reality television, Flavor Flav turned into a complete fool in a matter of about two episodes.  He hooked up with that man-chick-thing that used to be married to Jets defensive end Mark Gasitneau, and became very close friends with one of the guys in New Kids On The Block.  I figured it was over, and that we wouldn’t hear another cry of “Yeahhhh…Boyeeeee!!!” ever again. 
I was wrong.  His antics actually got him a couple more shows on that network:  One with the scary peniswoman, the next two reality dating shows that would see twenty women compete for a cash prize that would briefly make them feel better about the fact that they were contracting genital herpes off camera.  Surely (I thought) after this there was no way we’d ever hear of him again. 
Then in January of this year news began to circulate that Flavor Flav was opening a Fried Chicken restaurant in Clinton, Iowa.  I’m not sure why he would have picked Clinton:  Maybe it’s because he figured that this region would be star struck by a celebrity opening a restaurant, or maybe he just felt like Clinton smelled so much like fried chicken breading because of the ADM grain plant that the health department would never show up. 
Whatever it was, Flav made connections with a local businessman by the name of Nick Cimino to open up a Fried Chicken Joint in C-Town.  It was the biggest thing to hit Clinton since its residents discovered they could purchase as much Sudafed as they wanted over the counter at their local gas station.  Apparently Flav met Cimino through his brother Peter who runs Mama Cimino’s in Las Vegas.  Once the media found out about it, the hype was on.  The social networking sites blew up with posts about how people couldn’t wait to shake hands with something that had been wrist deep in Brigitte Neilsen’s babymaker.  The local TV channels and newspapers jumped all over it and it appeared that the ultimate hype man had done his job. 
Then it actually opened.  The reviews were mixed at best.  Customers waited twenty to forty-five minutes to get food, and hours to get a picture with the man of the hour.  There were ashtrays on the tables, and many people were smoking which is of course illegal (In the state of Iowa) in a business establishment where food is being served.  (Kind of an inexcusable thing to overlook)  A woman that I work with had visited there with her boyfriend about three weeks after it opened, and described the event to me upon her return:  She said that from the second they walked in the place was complete chaos.  They ordered their food, just one chicken breast because they weren’t really going there for the food, just to say that they had been there.  Over 20 minutes had passed and finally she walked up to the counter to see where their food was, and come to find out the order hadn’t even been placed.  At that point they decided to cut their losses and head elsewhere.  Twenty minutes is a long time to wait for food anywhere, let alone fried chicken, but to not even get served is pretty weak.  That’s of course not counting the twenty five minutes it took them to drive there when there are plenty of delicious places to eat within a short drive of their residence.  She also said that it appeared as if no one inside had any idea what was going on at all.  Obviously, this is only one testimonial but I did hear from other people that they had similar experiences. 
Shortly thereafter reports began to surface about the employees not getting paid.  This is where I started to realize that something fishy may have been going on.  I mean, the story seemed weird to begin with, but then when Flav responded to the accusations by saying “it was a credit card glitch” I wondered why a guy that’s supposedly that rich wouldn’t have a PR guy that could come up with a better excuse.  Right there I knew this wasn’t going to end well. 
A couple of days ago and Yahoo! reported that Flavor Flav was shutting the joint down, after a period in which there was a pretty serious war of words between Cimino and himself.  Cimino even went as far as calling Flav “a fraud” and that he had “engaged in illegal activities while on the premises”.  For those of you who can’t read between the lines, that’s a PG rated way of saying that Flav was smoking weed in the office.  I do understand that it’s illegal, but I don’t think anybody reading this would be gullible enough to think that isn’t going on at over half of the restaurants in the country.  Flav countered back by saying that he had found some potato salad in the walk-in that was passed the expiration date by over a month. 
The strangest thing to come out of this whole situation was that one of the reports stated that FFC spent $14,000 on frying oil in the first week, because Flav wanted the oil to be changed every hour.  Anybody who’s ever deep fried anything knows how off the wall this is.  When you first pour oil into a fryer, it’s white.  It’s not hot enough to cook anything in, let alone fried chicken which must be cooked at high temperatures.  Another thing that’s common knowledge about this subject is changing fryer oil is something that is only done during down time, in between mealtimes.  Additionally, fryers are usually right next to each other so changing them requires a lot of foot traffic to begin with and if done every hour could really increase the time between the customer ordering and being served.  (See above story if you’ve had a stroke over the course of the past few paragraphs)  You don’t want the fryer oil to be full of fried breading, but you do want it “broken in” to a certain extent, that is, you want the flavor for the oil itself to be able to cook into your fried chicken.  It sounds to me like Flavor Flav hasn’t done much with the culinary degree that he earned.  Another piece I read said that Cimino estimates he lost $400,000 in just a quarter of a year in the business venture, and it’s unlikely he’ll get any of that money back from Flav who (according to his Wikipedia page) was still scalping baseball tickets “to make extra cash” as late as 2000.  No wonder the employees weren’t getting paid. 
So in just three short months, it was all over.  Another celebrity had invested in an establishment that tanked, and time moves on.  The only difference was this time it happened in our backyard. 
I just hope that through all of this, the rest of the world doesn’t become so dumbed down that in a hundred years, people only remember this area for being “that place where Flavor Flav’s chicken bit the dust”.  A lot of people talk shit about this area, about how they can’t wait to get out of here because of how much they think it sucks…I disagree.  The Quad Cities is a relatively inexpensive place to live, and has a lot of rich history.  I don’t want this three month period during which a failed business venture that never had a prayer to begin with to eclipse the story of the guy who invented the steel plow.  That’s not fair to myself or anyone else that lives around here. 
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. 

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  • Well the eaterie in Vegas is said to be going ahead . But what’s even more disturbing is that one of his cast offs from his reality show Flava Flavs’ Flavor or Search for Love is now involved with Shaq ?

    Hoopz Alexander is Shaq’s piece of a_s at present . No wonder he’s had no playing time in the series against the Knicks !

    tophatal ………….

  • It’s said to be going ahead, but keep in mind Nick’s brother knows EVERYBODY in Vegas so word is going to get around awfully quick that Flav has no idea what he’s doing and can’t manage money for shit.

    Shaq is still healing. Whether or not he’ll be effective is going to be another story. I couldn’t care less who any of those guys are sleeping with. Never saw any of the Flavor Flav dating shows but I have seen the Maury Povich shows where they fight over whose the “baby daddy” and I can’t imagine it would be a whole lot different from that.

    The Knicks have to feel really stupid now. It’ll be interesting to see if D’Antoni finally thinks it’s going to be a good idea to start coaching defense. I give him until halfway through next season and if they’re still giving up 105 a game and they’re under .500 he won’t have a job. Fuck him anyways.


  • Meehan

    I’ve always loved chicken but I doubt I’ll be placing one of Flav’s eateries atop of my list !

    As for the Knicks owner James Dolan has a decision to make ! Both the contracts of D’Antoni and GM Donnie Walsh are up at the end of June . Does he up the ante on both or cut his losses and seek that managerial talent elsewhere ?

    Glad you originally done that piece on Trump as he now comes off as an ignorant bigot ! Now he’s down on Obama because of his educational background ? Since when was Trump even a paragon of virtue and the fact that his own questionable background as it relates to his (Trump) educational background the irreverent drug use of his brother in his youth . Wharton isn’t all it’s cracked up to be !

    Trump has overnight become this generation’s answer to Strom Thurmond !

    tophatal …..

  • He’ll be opening up another restaurant in Vegas if you can get there before that one closes too. I don’t even really like fried chicken that much. I think that place used to be a Long John Silvers if I remember correctly.

    Anyway, the Knicks could have saved a little face by winning one game, but since they got blanked, it looks bad because they do have some young talent and they got ran in four by a team without Kendrick Perkins that has a lot of players that are going to be retired in three years.

    I didn’t think D’antoni was a good coach in Phoenix either. When someone’s on offense, that means that the other team is on defense. I can start from the beginning if anybody feels I am going too fast.

    I was at a party one time when Strom Thurmond blew three dudes and a horse. Which is no big deal usually, but for a guy in a wheelchair it’s pretty impressive. Trump was not present.


  • Meehan

    It had to be that there wasn’t much talent out there at the time that forced the Knicks to hire D’Antoni .

    From my own perspective I for one don’t feel that they’ve come that far since Zeke was f_cking that place up , apart from the millions he’d cost them in that sexual harassment suit !

    Trump simply ha proven how devoid of real talent the political landscape is at the moment ! He can’t articulate an argument for any of his own policies but yet he continues to berate anyone who won’t even attempt to kiss his dumb ass !

    If this is the best that there is on offer I’m off to Timbuktu !

    tophatal …………..

  • Meehan

    I’d rather eat a tofu burger than eat anything coming out one of Flav’s joints .

    I guess that Shaq can thank him (Flava Flav) that he cast Hoopz off to the side so that he can get to tag that ass ?

    tophatal ……….

  • Good story man. I hadn’t heard about it at all. Sounds like Flav’s restaurant was ran like his real life full of half ideas that he can’t quite finish. I think you’d have to be smoking weed to actually work at a fast food place when your a rich guy, then again, maybe he’s broke…

  • You’d have to smoking really bad weed. Chaps this was really weird we had no idea this was coming and before we knew it, it was over. Clinton is about twenty minutes east of here and it is a very industrial, depressed city.

    I think Flav is just horrible when it comes to managing money. I mentioned the thing about the ticket scapling, and he’s made a lot of TV money since then, but it’s cable TV money, and he seems to spend it very fast. His Wikipedia page is pretty much a step by step guide on how to ruin your life after you get rich.

    A part of me always thought that Public Enemy would have been a lot more commanding of respect if they had two Chuck D’s instead of just one and a crackhead, but that’s just my opinion…Feel free to jump back in on this and discuss…


  • HAHAHA, yeah definitely some bammer laced with crack! I’ve never even heard of Clinton, but starting any business in a indurstrial area is a bad idea. Move to where tourists are idiot!

    Not surprised he’s broke. I bet he made less than the Jersey shore guys on his VH1 stint. Speaking of them, I’d love to see those douches go broke. They don’t deserve a dollar they are earning…

    I’m not sure Public Enemy would’ve gotten quite as far without Flav. I mean, he invented the hype man role! Gotta give him that if nothing else!

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