Rapper Flavor Flav pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony and violation charges after his arrest earlier this month for speeding and driving on on a suspended license.
Flav, whose real name is William Drayton, was arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on felony charges of driving with a suspended license, as well as two violation charges for marijuana possession and speeding. He was released conditionally on probation and is due back in court on Friday.
"Just from me to you, I want everyone to have the most prosperous 2014,” he reportedly told a reporter as he left the courthouse, according to Newsday.
The 54-year-old Long Island native was busted Jan. 9 after being stopped for speeding on the Meadowbrook State Parkway. State police said they clocked Flav’s Hyundai at 79 miles per hour near the Southern State Parkway and pulled him over in Hempstead at about 9:30 a.m.
During the stop, troopers discovered Flav’s license had been suspended 16 times and reported that he smelled of marijuana.
"Drayton was released on an appearance ticket in order to allow him to attend his mother's funeral," the Valley Stream troopers said in a statement that day. He tweeted on New Year’s Eve that his mother, Anna Drayton, had passed away.
January’s arrest is one of many in Flav’s history, which includes domestic violence, robbery, cocaine and marijuana charges, and attempted murder in 1993.
Born and raised in Freeport, Flav developed a love of music at an early age and while attending Adelphi University, met Carlton Ridenhour, better known as Chuck D. The two would join rappers Terminator X and Professor Grif to create the group Public Enemy.