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We won’t tolerate any Flavor Flav slander in this house. The rapper and Eras Tour supporter is receiving backlash for his national anthem performance at the Atlanta Hawks vs. Milwaukee Bucks game on Oct. 29, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the internet’s making it out to be.

Wearing a green Bucks jersey and one of his signature clock necklaces, he took center court at the the Fiserv Forum to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Though he got off to a bit of a rocky start, fumbling the first few words, he quickly recovered and belted out the lyrics with passion, snapping his fingers to stay on tempo. The Grammy nominee even added some flair to the final verse, repeating “of the brave” several times for emphasis.

Following the game, many viewers were quick to bash Flavor Flav’s rendition, comparing it to Fergie’s infamous national anthem performance at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game. “Is this a joke? Who let this guy sing the national anthem?” one person commented on an Instagram video.

Seemingly catching wind of the criticism, Flavor Flav defended himself on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The anthem was a long time bucket list item,,, that was fun!” he wrote. “I can’t live my life worried about what people might say about me. 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 if you stop trying.” Amen to that.

Was Flavor Flav’s performance flawless? Not at all. But did he try his best and deserve an A for effort? Absolutely. It takes guts to get out there and perform such a tricky song a cappella, but he did the damn thing, and for that, we applaud him. To all the keyboard warriors out there hating on his vocals, we ask: would you have the guts to do the same?