Flavor Flav holds nothing back in his memoir, dubbed 'Flavor Flav: Icon,' in which he takes readers on a journey from being the court jester of rap to the court jester of Reality TV. In between there were years of wall-to-wall cocaine addiction and it's a wonder the New York native can remember any of it (he's amazed as well). Public Enemy's ebullient hype man spoke openly to PopEater about how he got clean, the "difficult" experience of starring in a dating show even though he had a girlfriend the whole time, his plans to get married "real soon" and talks about a debt owed to MC Hammer.
You're very honest in the book about your drug use. It got really crazy.
Yeah I was spending $2,600 a day, for six years, every single day. I don't know how much that is but if you did the math, wow, I went through a lot of money. If I did the math I'd probably be shocked on how much money I spent, I'd probably punch myself in the face.
(Editor's Note: 2,191 days -- one leap year day included -- at $2,600 a piece equals $5,696,600.)
When you recounted your life, can you believe everything you've done?
I've done a lot. I didn't really think about it like that. I thought more, damn how can I remember everything I've done!
How did you get clean?
I went out to California in the middle of 2003 and I changed my people, places and things. My also wanting to pursue a TV and movie career, I knew that in order for me to do that and be successful, I had to leave all of that behind me. I had to because me being a major celebrity, everything that I do, word will travel. I didn't want to build a bad reputation in other states. I wanted to leave all that stuff in New York. That's what really helped me get clean by me not wanting to build up a reputation of me going through neighborhoods buying drugs.
Didn't MC Hammer help your TV career?
Yeah I asked him for his advice on whether I should do 'The Surreal Life' or not. I wasn't going to do it, I figured it was for has-beens, at that time I didn't consider myself a has-been, I considered myself still hot. I asked MC Hammer for his advice and he said I should do it because if I do it then great things could happen afterwards like it did for him and he was right.
And America fell in love with you.
That's because I fell in love with America! You only get back what you give off Nicki!
You lost your virginity when you were very young.
I was six years old. I lost my virginity by experimenting. The girl was the same age as me. We kind of felt a little something funny. We knew it was kind of wrong yet we felt it was kind of natural.
How is that even possible?
I mean I call it a lost virginity when the penis penetrates the vagina, I do consider that a cherry pop.
Ever get tired of schlepping that big clock around?
Never. The clock is American Express. I don't leave home without it. My neck is used to it after all of these years. My neck has developed certain muscles, I forget the clock is around me.
Yes I did. Well I'm an entertainer, my job is to bring America good TV. In my book I had to write about me being an entertainer but yet after I finished entertaining I go home to my family. Yeah that was kind of difficult but I had to do it. I'm still with my girlfriend, we've been together now going on eight years and we have a kid together.
So when are you going to marry her?
Real soon. I just got to put myself in a much more comfortable state for me to get married. I'm still not in a comfortable state. There are certain things I want to do within myself. I just really want to be in the right financial position before I say 'I do.'
You have seven kids.
Yeah from 25 to 4 and I'm going for three more so I can have my personal 10. I want a starting five and some substitutes. I also have four grand-children and my grand-kids call me grand-daddy. I spoil them as much as I can.
You also had 62 traffic violations.
Over 62. I don't have a license right now but there's just a couple more things that I have to do here in New York to clear that up and once we do that, we are good to go.
You're an avid bowler.
Oh yes, I get down. I'm Flavor Flav Twinkle Toes Flintstone. My average is like 150, 160, stuff like that. Every now and then I get up to 170, 180.
Was your relationship with Brigitte Neilsen real?
That was definitely really, really real. She's married now, she's over in Italy with her husband and children. She's doing good. We speak from time to time.
Hey thanks for speaking to me Flav.
(To the tune of Toni Basil's hit 'Mickey') Oh Nicki you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind!
More Q&As From Nicki Gostin: Ice T, Jerry Seinfeld, Will Ferrell, Paul Reiser and Jerry Seinfeld
The Flavor of Flav
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 01: Flavor Flav performs onstage during An Evening With Flavor Flav at The GRAMMY Museum on June 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)