Flavor Flav Reveals the Origin Story of His Iconic Clock Chain
William Jonathan Drayton Jr., widely known as Flavor Flav, has cemented his status as a prominent figure in hip-hop culture.
As a member of the influential rap group Public Enemy, the New York native gained recognition as one of the genre’s most legendary hypemen. What set him apart from his peers in the late 1980s was his distinct fashion statement—a clock adorning his neck.
In honor of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s 50 Years of Hip-Hop exhibit, Roxanne Shante hosted her show “Have a Nice Day” on LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells Radio, broadcasting live from the SiriusXM studio at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
During this special episode, Roxanne had the opportunity to sit down with Flavor Flav and delve into Hip-Hop’s momentous fifty-year anniversary as well as his illustrious career. The reality TV star, best known for his show “Flavor of Love,” shared the intriguing backstory behind his iconic clock chain.
It all began with an unexpected encounter involving a “crackhead,” as Flavor Flav recalled. “So one day, as a joke, this crackhead came through my projects, you know what I’m saying? Selling these shower clocks that she stole from a place called Fortunoff,” he recounted. His friend, Son of Berserk, then removed the stopwatch from his neck and replaced it with the stolen clock, resulting in laughter all around. Little did they know that this lighthearted prank would shape Flavor Flav’s signature look.
The pivotal moment arrived when he was dared to wear the clock on stage during a performance. Flavor Flav enthusiastically accepted the challenge and proudly sported the clock while opening for the Beastie Boys in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1986. The following day, the image of Flavor Flav’s clock chain captured the attention of newspapers such as Newsday, New York Times, and New York Post, instantly propelling it to icon status.
Flavor Flav, along with the rest of Public Enemy, went on to release several critically acclaimed studio albums, including the seminal classics “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” and “Fear of a Black Planet.” In recognition of their significant contributions to music, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, solidifying their enduring legacy.
Flavor Flav’s revelation about the origins of his renowned clock chain adds another layer to his captivating journey as a hip-hop personality, demonstrating how a playful twist of fate can shape an iconic symbol of self-expression.