Two Tax Deadbeat Rappers

By Teresa Ambord

Flavor Flav - Good Fried Chicken No Substitute for Business Sense

Rapper Flavor Flav, a member of "Public Enemy," may be feeling like just that - a public enemy - as his troubles continue to mount. On income dating back to 2004-2006, he owes a total of nearly a million dollars. 

The fifty-three-year-old, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr., appeared in three reality TV shows - The Surreal Life, Strange Love, and Flavor of Love - which coincide with the years for which he has delinquent tax debt. Here's how it breaks down:
  • 2004 didn't look good, with a federal tax debt of $52,243;
  • 2005 grew worse, adding $303,036; and
  • In 2006, he topped off his debit with another $550,971.
 
Put that all together and Drayton owes a total of $906,250. That's bad enough, but Uncle Sam isn't Drayton's only problem. The New York Daily News reported that he narrowly escaped 180 days in jail for failing to pay the mother of three of his seven children support of more than $111,186. Rather than do jail time, Drayton was allowed to make a down payment of $25,000 for the debt and chip away at the rest by adding an extra $1,200 to his regular monthly payments.
 
But wait . . . there's more on Drayton's plate. Last year he partnered with Nick Cimino to open Flav's Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, in the hope of transitioning into a franchise operation. He learned the hard way that it takes more than a good chicken recipe and a famous name to make a business succeed. The partners made bad decisions, bounced checks, and argued nonstop. Four short months after opening their doors, they closed them again. 
 
Drayton may be down, but he's not out. This year, he's trying again, with a rib joint in Sterling Heights, Michigan, called Flavor Flav's Chicken & Ribs. 
 
Bubba Sparxxx - A Hefty Tax Lien, a New Lease on Life
 
Southern rapper Bubba Sparxxx from Athens, Georgia, is using his unpaid tax debt to turn over a new leaf. Sparxxx, whose real name is Warren Anderson Mathis, owes his home state more than $29,000. That's no chump change, but Mathis told reporters that's nothing, since he owes the fed ten times that amount. 
 
Currently, Georgia is garnishing his wages to collect his state debt. Instead of bemoaning his fate or blaming his accountant like so many celebrities in tax trouble do, Mathis said he's learned something. He's changing his deadbeat tax ways and taking care of business. When TMZ reporters asked how he let it get so bad, he was honest. "I was having a good time and just wasn't attentive to a lot of issues. My main issue was Mr. Tax Man, which I neglected because of doing things I had no business doing."
 
But now he's turning over a new leaf and getting on track with his tax responsibilities. "This past year, I have now changed all of that. I have stopped partying and hanging out . . . I got a tax lawyer and a business accountant to get my tax situation handled."
 
Mathis has a new album and he hopes to net enough from the sales to take care of his tax debt. 
 
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