Flavor Flav’s Deep Thoughts On Life, Love And Being Hollywood’s Biggest Hype Man

Flavor Flav at the Grammy Awards in February. (Lionel Hahn/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

By Marianne Garvey, CNN

(CNN) — Flavor Flav is moving through life these days like he’s got no time to waste.

In recent months, he’s been spotted backstage at a Bruce Springsteen concert, opening for U2, speaking at Harvard, gushing over Cher and Donny Osmond, and trading friendship bracelets with the Swifties at an “Eras Tour” show. The ultimate hype man, however, is no stranger to fame himself.

Flav’s own career kicked off in 1985, when he co-founded the rap group Public Enemy. He went on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and star in several in early aughts reality shows, including “The Surreal Life” and “Flavor of Love.”

He hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for life, his fellow artists – or his signature clock necklaces – along the way. Now 65, Flav’s next project is a reality series that will focus on his pursuit to obtain a high school diploma.

CNN recently caught up with Flav to see if we could bottle some of his seemingly endless enthusiasm. Our discussion, which touched on his hopes to meet Megan Thee Stallion and staying more humble than King Kong, follows. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

CNN: Are those clock sunglasses you have on?

FF: “Yep. Those all vintage frames, baby vintage frames.”

CNN: So, as a fan, who have you met recently that you’re liking?

FF: “I got to meet Donny Osmond last week, you know what I’m saying?”

CNN: As a Swiftie, are you excited for the new album that came out this week?

FF: “I love Taylor Swift. Yeah. You know, power to the Swifties, power to the Swifties.”

CNN: You two both love wearing your clocks.

FF: “That’s right. That’s right. And we both keep ‘em on 12, too. Yep. And the reason why I keep my clock on 12 is because 12 o’clock points straight up. And right now I’m straight up with you every day.”

CNN: Love it. Ok, let’s get into it. What do you think’s happened in the last few years with you? Have you come to appreciate art and artists more?

FF: “You know, the world has a lot of love for Public Enemy. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. And there’s a lot of young artists that have a lot of love for Flavor Flav as well. So what I’m doing is I’m just embracing all of that and I’m embracing their music as well.”

CNN: How do you have all this energy? You have a young spirit.

FF: “I’m just trying to keep up with what’s going on, you know what I’m saying? With all of the new stuff that’s going on and, and all of these younger, new artists. Just trying to keep up.”

CNN: You recently met Cher, can you talk about that moment for you?

FF: “I don’t know if she exactly knew who I was. Yeah. But I could tell that she knew I knew who she was. I’ve been trying to meet this woman for the longest, so when they told me that she was going to be at the iHeart Awards, I said, you know what, now this could be my chance. The only thing I know is that I had to make sure that that woman knew who I was, where I came from and why I was there. And the only thing I could say, mission accomplished, baby.”

CNN: And you love Billie Eilish, thoughts on her?

FF: “My love for Billie Eilish comes from, from the type of person that she is, number one. And as a young artist, she’s very incredible. And not only that, but she’s making history. She’s very, very ambitious, a go-getter. And I’m a go-getter. Yeah. Just like Billie Eilish, I love her, man.”

CNN: You recently made it backstage to meet Bruce Springsteen, what was his reaction to you?

FF: “I was hoping he knew who I was. But I tell everybody this, I never took gymnastics, but I was flipping. I was flipping. The biggest thing was when he came off the stage to walk into the audience. As he passed by me, he gave his boy Flavor Flav a pound.”

CNN: Have any big names been wanting to meet you?

FF: “Yeah. And not only that, a lot of these celebs that I’ve been meeting, I’m quite sure they’ve been wanting to meet me too. It’s just that I got to them first before they got to me.”

CNN: Who’s still on your list to meet?

FF: “I haven’t met Megan Thee Stallion yet.”

CNN: Who’s the most famous person in your phone right now?

FF: “Beside myself? Babyface Edmonds. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Jelly Roll! LL Cool J.”

CNN: What do your kids think of all this fame and fanning?

FF: “My kids are having a ball with all of this man, just being themselves. My everyday life is, getting up, taking my son to school, picking him up from school, you know?”

CNN: How would you describe life for you at this moment?

FF: “I’m having fun with my life right now. I’m really having a lot of fun with my life right now. Let me tell you this, because you know, this life that we live physically, we only get it one time.”

CNN: Isn’t that the point of your clock necklace?

FF: “Yeah. So my thing is this, while we’re living this one, one physical life, let’s get all out of life while we can, let’s have all the fun we can while we can. Because when we die, we become nothing but memories. But we wanna be the most positive memories, the most influential memories, the most innovative memories, you know, the most positive memories that’s talked about years after our death.”

CNN: You’re mindful of that every day?

FF: “Hey. Because you wake up every day knowing that life ain’t promised to you.”

CNN: Any final thoughts on your mind you want to get out?

FF: “Let me say this. You know, when people see me, a lot of people see me as this real big huge star. Like bigger than King Kong, but to me, I’m not that size. I’m only this human size, you know? And you gotta keep it humble, man. You gotta keep it humble. And I think that’s another thing that people love about me most is because I’m humble, you know? I am a fan, but also I do give people the time of day when people come and ask me for a picture, they get it. When they come and ask me for an autograph or a hug, I give it to ‘em. And that stuff goes a very, very long way.”

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