The real reason you don't hear from Flavor Flav anymore

Flavor Flav, born William Jonathan Drayton Jr., is an American treasure. He rose to fame as a member of the famous hip-hop group Public Enemy and went on to have a lucrative career in reality TV. But in recent years, this 57-year-old rapper has fallen off the radar. From his once great days in the public eye, he has seemingly disappeared. There is no exact answer as to why he left the limelight, but here are several very good reasons that may explain his absence.

He's got a rocky marriage

Throughout his music career, Flav has attracted numerous women. But perhaps the most interesting woman in his life is his wife Liz Trujillo. She's also the mother of his son, Karma. According to a brief interview with Steve Harvey in May 2016 (via VH1.com), they've been together for over a decade. "My girl, she's at home, she's just chilling," the rapper updated Harvey on his life. "But yes, we're still together after twelve years. You know what I'm saying? So I'm not mad."

But things for this couple weren't always so smooth. In fact, fans may recall he was engaged to be married while he was publicly dating women for his ex-reality show Flavor of Love, which aired on VH1. "On the Flavor of Love 3, you know, when I had picked this girl called 'Thing 2,' you know, and the whole nine, I was already, you know, had a fiancée," he added. "I brought her on the show and my little son, you know, we just had a baby. His name is Karma."

In 2013, the couple pushed aside their busy schedules to fix their marriage for reality show Couple's Therapy. While shooting, things went off track when Trujillo had to be hospitalized. TMZ initially reported Flav's wife accidently overdosed on painkillers. A rep for the couple denied the news and blamed the trip to the emergency room on exhaustion due to a grueling shooting schedule. "The claim of an overdose, or any involvement of drugs, could not be further from the truth," the rep commented.

It's unclear if Flav and Trujillo ever fixed the kinks in their marriage.

His 2015 DUI stole his thunder

Celebrities all too often find themselves on the wrong side of the law. And Flav was no different in May 2015 when he was pulled over in Las Vegas for an epic number of violations. According to TMZ, Flav was booked on driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, driving with an open container, driving his 2005 BMW at 73 mph in a 45 mph zone (speeding), having a fake registration and driving on a suspended license. With so many violations, it's no wonder officers didn't throw him under the jail or ban him from the roads forever.

The following year, Flav had his day in court. According to Billboard, he pled no contest and his charges were reduced to misdemeanors. The site adds he also confessed to having marijuana in his system.

As a result, the judge seemingly took leniency on the star ordering him to pay a $685 fine and attend a victim impact panel on drunk driving. His license, was of course, revoked. At the time, his legal counsel stated he's trying to adjust to life without driving himself around.

His driving woes are worse than you thought

In January 2014, the reality-TV star was arrested when Long Island police officers caught him speeding. What makes this situation so bizarre is the fact he was rushing to his mother's funeral, according to NBC 4 New York. Flav was charged with one count of unlicensed aggravated operation of a motor vehicle.

A year later, a New York judge took pity on Flav and sentenced him to time served because he spent several hours in the slammer following the arrest. He was also fined $3,600. However, the site adds the judge lectured Flav stating he should be a better role model. After all, he's in a position to influence others. Fortunately for Flav, the police department, which captured him, was able to rush him to his mother's gravesite in time for the memorial service.

As one can gather, Flav isn't a good driver. In essence, he shouldn't be allowed back on the road for the amount of offenses he's committed. To put it into perspective, TMZ says Flav has had his license suspended an astounding 16 times. This may surely account for his absence from the spotlight — he's stuck at home!

He's scrambling to pay off lingering child support

Flav has been a busy man over the years. He's got seven kids, that he knows of. With that said, seven kids require a lot of money to raise. His ex-baby mama Angie Parker took him to court in May 2012, according to TMZ. At the time, he owed a whopping $111,186 in back child support. Since he skipped out on his initial court appearance, a judge recommended the rapper be jailed for 180 days.

The next month, Flav saved his own butt by dropping a hefty check toward the balance. A separate TMZ report says Flav wrote a check for $25,000. While it's unclear how much he owes currently, Flav maintains his family is his priority, despite falling behind on taking care of them. "No matter what's in the media, I am a good father to all 7 of my children," he told the site. "I'll never let my family do without!"

He acknowledged that money hasn't always flowed into his pockets saying, "I do the best that I can with what I got and I try to make it work, and any man that doesn't take care of his kids is not a real man and he doesn't get good luck." He then spoke about his court appearance, at which he paid down his debt. "I am satisfied with the judge's decision and I think the judge for being understanding. Operation No Doubt is now in progress!!!"

Drama at home keeps him from the spotlight

In 2012, Flav found himself behind bars for a nasty situation involving his then fiancée and her teenage son. According to CNN, Flav and Trujillo began arguing in their Las Vegas home around 3:30AM when their dispute became physical. The police report, filed by Trujillo, states the pair began fighting over Flav's alleged infidelity when the star began grabbing Trujillo's shoulders, stomach and arms on multiple occasions, even tossing her to the ground twice. In the scuffle, Trujillo says her earring was yanked out too.

The police report also says the Public Enemy rapper allegedly began chasing Trujillo's 17-year-old son, Gibran, around the house with two knives threatening to kill him. Gibran attempted to conceal himself from danger by locking himself inside a bedroom, which Flav broke into. Once police arrived, Flav was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and battery. Flav denied threatening to kill the boy.

When his day came in court, Flav pled guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence charges. Essentially, he agreed to a plea deal that would reduce his charges and allow him to bypass jail in his sentencing. In all, he was given a year of probation and was ordered to attend 12 domestic violence counseling sessions with Gibran.

He's no longer on 'Flavor of Love'

For three years, Flav was the ratings king on VH1. His hit dating show, Flavor of Love (2006-2008), saw him search for his dream girl. More importantly the series introduced America to a new type of reality programing—rachet TV. As the story goes, the hit show came after a rough time in his career. According to The Daily Beast, Flav was dead broke in 2003 when M.C. Hammer coaxed him to join the reality show The Surreal Life. After making that a success he went on to star alongside Brigitte Nielsen in Strange Love. After his romance with Nielsen ended, Flavor of Love was born.

"Yeah, Brigitte was real love and everything," he said. "The Flavor of Love was real at first, because I first met my girl, Liz, right before I started filming the first season. So, by the time Flavor of Love 2 came around, I was very uncomfortable with doing it because I had a girl at home, and she got pregnant during the second one."

The pair stayed together despite Flav signing up for a third season of shenanigans.

But Flav wasn't the only star of the show. There were droves of women not only vying for his heart, but aiming to make a name for themselves on television. And many of them didn't care if they made a fool of themselves. The most notable stars were Tiffany "New York" Pollard, who went on to have several reality shows of her own on VH1 including New York Goes to Hollywood and New York Goes to Work. Her latest endeavor with the network, Brunch with Tiffany, begins soon, according to VH1. There was also Nicole "Hoopz" Alexander, who infamously dated ex-NBA star Shaquille O'Neal.

His political comments are shaky

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016 and took office in 2017, many of his supporters have disappeared. Especially after his many executive orders began stirring up drama and chaos across the land. Flav, who voiced his love for Trump, has seemingly kept quiet too.

"There's a lot of people talking a lot of sh*t about Trump, but guess what? He's winning. The man is winning," Flav told Billboard before the election. "I ain't gonna lie, but listen, the United States has been ran a certain way for decades and decades and decades. You never know: Maybe Trump could possibly do something. Maybe he might step in office and do something. I'm not going to doubt him."

He surmised his thoughts saying, "If Donald Trump does become President, there's only one thing we all can do: just sit back and let the man do his job."

After the election, his Twitter hasn't been filled with any political rants. But rather a series of retweets about the ongoing protests around the nation. "To all protestors protesting and getting locked up will not change the results of the election let's be smart and move on we got no choice," he tweeted.

He's focused on his food empire

While many may be impatiently waiting for a follow up to Flavor of Love or the rapper to pop up on television in some capacity, they may be all disappointed. In recent years, Flav, who went to culinary school in the '70s, has turned his attentions away from entertainment and put his energy into a small fast-food restaurant. But it hasn't been all successful. In fact, he nearly burned his reputation to a crisp with a small chain of eateries called Flav's Chicken & Ribs.

According to TMZ, Flav opened restaurants in three locations—Las Vegas, Iowa and Michigan. The latter struggled to remain open. In June 2013, Flav's was evicted by the landlord because of alleged overdue rent to the tune of $20,000. After a visit to the courthouse, the restaurant was allowed to re-open until both sides could reach an agreement. But it never happened. A month later, Flav's Chicken & Ribs said goodbye and shut its doors permanently, adds a separate report from the site. Deep fryers, stoves and all equipment were hauled away from the restaurant. Police were even on hand in case it got out of control. What an embarrassment. Three failed locations and nothing to show for it but bad business practices.

After that sad display, Flav is once again putting his hat back into the food business. The Las Vegas Sun reported in August 2016 that Flav began selling his famed chicken at local restaurant Rockhouse on the Strip. Chicken was sold from $14 for 10 pieces to $25 for 24 pieces.

He's got tax drama

Flav seems to have suffered so many downfalls in his career. Family drama, business drama and reality show chaos. What's left? Tax drama! According to TMZ.com, Uncle Sam slapped the Public Enemy hypeman with a giant tax lien of nearly a million dollars.

In 2012, the site reported Flav was targeted for neglecting to pay taxes in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Those just happened to be the years he starred on The Surreal Life, Strange Love and Flavor of Love. The IRS wanted $52,243.47 from the 2004 fiscal year, $303,035.93 for 2005 and $550,971.16 for 2006. That reaches a grand total of more than $906K.

It's unclear if he ever paid off his debts.

Will Flav make a comeback?

According to his IMDb account, he's got two acting projects lined up for 2017. The Labyrinth, which acts out a collection of short stories about the unknown and inexplicable, will be released this year. Flav will play the character Midnight. Little is known about his role, but the project also involves James Franco. Flav's second project of the year will be a small role in Hold On. That story follows the journey of a drug addict, who lives on Los Angeles' Skid Row, from poverty to greater heights and possibly fame. Flav plays a police officer in the flick.

Only time will tell if Flav's small resurgence in Hollywood will reignite his career. Perhaps it's time for a new reality special?