Rapper Flavor Flav’s rendition of the national anthem before Sunday night’s game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Atlanta Hawks drew some mixed reactions from the crowd.
Flavor Flav, who has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, donned a green Bucks jersey layered over a white sweatshirt, along with a matching white hat and sunglasses, as he took the stage at Fiserv Forum.
The audience showed their support for Flavor Flav, frequently erupting in cheers and applause as he tackled the most challenging tone shifts and higher octave moments during his performance.
Upon reaching the phrase “home of the brave,” he proceeded to repeat the final verse three times, eliciting applause, and some members of the audience even gave him a standing ovation.
However, on social media, there were mixed reviews of his performance from NBA fans and the like.
“I’m more interested in understanding how they picked Flavor Flav to sing the National Anthem like what was the convo leading up to this,” a user wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). Another shared “we need a 3 part doc about how some bucks exec heard Flavor Flav’s voice and decided he would be a great option to sing the national anthem.”
Numerous social media accounts implied that while the performance wasn’t outstanding, it surpassed their initial expectations. Another user wrote,“Flavor Flav gave our anthem all the reverence it deserves and then some, and anyone who says otherwise is a certified hater.”
Other users noted Flav’s musical aptitude. “Flavor Flav is widely considered the most effective hype man in the history of hip-hop. Not sure I could find even 1 current or former rapper who’d disagree. He also happens to be a classically trained pianist and is fully proficient in somewhere between 12-15 instruments,” another user wrote.
Many fans compared Flav’s singing to some of the most infamous national anthem performances of years past, including Fergie and Roseanne Barr.
Nonetheless Flav rose to the occasion, and showed pride in his performance, also taking to X to share his thoughts. He said singing the anthem was a “long time bucket list item” and he had “fun.”
“I can’t live my life worried about what people might say about me,” he added. “I won’t let that stop me from trying new things and doing things I wanna do. Some people might not like that. But a sure failure is you stop trying.”