Words Carlton Wade
# Greatest Southern Artists of all Time 2 LIVE CREW/UNCLE LUKE 5 ESSENTIAL 2 LIVE CREW/UNCLE LUKE TRACKS 2 Live Crew “We Want Some Pussy” Is What We Are 1986 One of the first hip-hop records to incorporate rock & roll sounds, 2 Live Crew was just speaking the real on this club favorite. 2 Live Crew “Me So Horny” As Nasty As They Wanna Be 1989 This enormous crossover record made history as one of the first hip-hop records to use a sample from a movie, Full Metal Jacket. 2 Live Crew “Face Down Ass Up” Banned in the USA 1990 That’s the way we like to fuck! Luke “I Wanna Rock (Doo Doo Brown)” I Got Shit On My Mind 1992 The first bass record to get respect and credibility in the home of hip-hop: New York.
(l to r) Mr. Mixx, Chris Wong Wong, Uncle Luke, and Brother Marquis
hile regions all across the dirty have staked their claims from H-Town to ATL and Memphis to the Crescent, Southern rap finds its deepest roots in the Sunshine State. With do-fa-self groundwork laid by 80’s bass mechanics like Pretty Tony, Gucci Crew II and MC Shy D, South Florida gave Southern hip-hop its earliest voice via booty-shake anthems. None of the South side first-schoolers had as much of an impact as the 2 Live Crew. Made up of Fresh Kid Ice, Brother Marquis, Mr. Mixx and label CEO/hype man Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell, this foulmouthed foursome drew the blueprint to building a fledgling indie label to mainstream success. Orally fondling freaky fuck tales atop ass-shaking 808 drum and bass, the 2 Live Crew brought “booty music” from the Southern underground to platinum success. Nearly two decades ago, 2 Live Crew put MIA - and the entire South - on the hip-hop map. Despite claiming fame in Miami, the 2 Live Crew actually formed in California. The original members of the group were Fresh Kid Ice, DJ Mr. Mixx, and Amazing V, who left soon after the group’s formation. Their electro-funk, break dance-ready breakout single “Revolution” led the group to Florida. In Miami, 2 Live Crew hooked up with local record label owner Luke. The group hadn’t been talking dirty on their records prior to meeting Mr. Doo Doo Brown, but his X-rated influence was definitely heard on their 1986 debut album The 2 Live Crew...Is What We Are.
Uncle Luke f/ Trick Daddy “Scarred” Uncle Luke 1996 Uncle Luke decided to take bass music to the next level, and the result was this nearly indecipherable and yet highly addictive club smash. This is the record that broke Trick Daddy.
record store clerk was hit with felony charges (and later acquitted) after selling the album to a 14-year-old girl in 1987. This prompted the group to sell both clean and explicit versions of their albums. 2 Live Crew is the reason for those must-have parental advisory stickers that adorn most rap albums today. The following year, a record store in Alabama was fined for selling a copy of the group’s sophomore album Move Somethin’ to an undercover cop. Shit really hit the fan with the group’s next release, Nasty As They Wanna Be, in 1989. The next year, Broward County sheriff Nick Navarro secured a ruling from County Circuit Court Judge Mel Grossman that the album was legally obscene. In an attempt to knock the group’s hustle, Navarro threatened record store owners across the country, informing them that they would be subject to prosecution if they sold the album. The group took a staggering blow in June 1989 when District Court Judge Jose Gonzalez ruled that Nasty As They Wanna Be was obscene and illegal to sell. Just two days later, a record store owner was booked for selling the album to an undercover cop, and members of the 2 Live Crew were arrested on obscenity charges for performing at a local club. They were later acquitted, and the record store owner’s conviction was overturned on appeal.
Now with Brother Marquis on board and Luke pumping the crowd, 2 Live shook down Southern dance floors with pornographic rhymes and vibrating ghetto bass on classic club bangers “Get It Girl,” “Throw The Dick,” and everyone’s alltime favorite “We Want Some Pussy.” Without any major label backing or radio play, the album went gold on the low.
Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding the album caused sales to soar past 2 million. Shortly after, music giant Atlantic Records signed Luke and his label Luke Records to a distribution deal. Their following major label album Banned in the USA was a mainstream success. Billed as Luke featuring 2 Live Crew, the album’s title track was a reworking of Bruce Springsteen’s American classic “Banned in the USA” and the group’s second Top 40 hit.
However, along with the popularity of their Xrated rap album came consequences. A Florida
On top of that, 2 Live Crew had the last laugh when in 1992, the Court of Appeals in Atlanta
OZONE APR 2005
overturned Jose Gonzalez’s ruling that Nasty As They Wanna Be was legally obscene. The Court of Appeals’ decision was later upheld by the Supreme Court. Aside from winning court cases, 2 Live Crew’s music was also becoming a staple in Southern rap. In addition to placing a trademark on the unmistakable sound of Miami bass, 2 Live was also a building block for the foundations of Atlanta booty-shake, rowdy Memphis angst, sexually explicit lyrics, and provocative music videos. With stage shows typically comprised of over a dozen naked strippers and videos that were banned from mainstream outlets, 2 Live Crew were pioneers of the sleazy, misogynistic graphics and lyrics that we see in much of today’s hip-hop. Long before Nelly’s “Tip Drill” or BET’s “Uncut,” 2 Live Crew was encouraging women to take it all off on the dance floor - and in their videos. Just throw in the group’s hit “Move Somethin’” and watch the party get hype. Or slide on Luke’s solo joint “H-B-C” and watch all the fellas in the place reply to Luke’s question, “Whatcha like, fellas?” with the answer, “Head, booty, and cock!” Without question, 2 Live Crew changed the game. Regardless of how brash, sleazy, or erotic the music may seem, 2 Live protected our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression so we can be as nasty as we damn well wanna be. With their chest-pounding bass and piercing snare, they gave future groups an instrumental lesson plan to follow. And with their gold and platinum accolades, they created an avenue for other Southern groups to follow to shine on a national level. Although the new school artists continue to set trends and break down barriers, 2 Live Crew blazed the trail for their path to stardom and success. Respect your elders.
Ozone Mag #33 - Apr 2005