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2 Live Crew

No rap group (save, perhaps, N.W.A) has stirred more controversy or provoked more heated debate than the 2 Live Crew. The furor over the graphic sexual content of their X-rated party rhymes -- specifically their 1989 album As Nasty as They Wanna Be -- was a major catalyst in making rap music a flash point for controversy and an easily visible target for self-appointed moral guardians. The fierce attacks on the group's First Amendment rights put many of their defenders in an awkward position -- passionately supporting their freedom of speech on the one hand, but often finding little artistic merit in their music. And they were indeed crude and coarse, and frequently misogynistic by most standards; even if they fit squarely into a tradition of raunchy, sexually explicit black comedy (Redd Foxx, Rudy Ray Moore, Blowfly, etc.), many critics and intellectuals found their view of sex repellently juvenile, even ugly (and if they found it funny, it was hard to say so publicly). Despite (or, more likely, because of) that fact, the 2 Live Crew were fairly popular even before all the uproar and benefited greatly at first from all the publicity, although later on the novelty perhaps wore off due to overexposure. Regardless of whether one enjoys their sense of humor, to focus only on the controversy ignores the 2 Live Crew's musical contributions. They were responsible for popularizing the booming, hard-driving sound of Miami bass music, and they were the founding fathers of a populist, dance-oriented rap subgenre that relied on simple, explicit chants and up-tempo rump-shaking grooves, appropriately dubbed "booty rap."

Despite their inextricable link to Miami, the 2 Live Crew actually started out in California, with a membership of Fresh Kid Ice (born Chris Wong Won in Trinidad), DJ Mr. Mixx (born David Hobbs), and Amazing V. The trio released their debut single, "Revelation," in 1985 and its popularity in Florida led the group -- sans Amazing V -- to move to Miami, and after second single "What I Like," they were joined by Brother Marquis (born Mark Ross). They scored a record deal with local impresario Luke Skyywalker (born Luther Campbell in Miami), who initially served as their manager, and then joined the group as a performer and bandleader. With Campbell came a big part of the group's on-record taste for sleaze, and accordingly their 1986 debut album, The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are, featured songs like "We Want Some P**sy" and "Throw the D" (as in dick). It became a word-of-mouth success, eventually going gold. Even at this early stage, obscenity was an issue; in 1987, a Florida record store clerk was acquitted of felony charges after selling the album to a 14-year-old girl. Campbell hit upon the idea of selling "clean" and "dirty" versions of the group's albums so that younger fans would have a less explicit alternative. 1987's Move Somethin' was the first album released in this format, and it became an even bigger underground hit than its predecessor thanks to notorious cuts like "One and One," an X-rated retelling of the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" (which established the Crew's penchant for blatantly copped samples). In 1988, a record store in Alabama was fined for selling a copy of Move Somethin' to an undercover cop (a conviction later overturned on appeal), setting the stage for the Crew's home state to declare war.

As Nasty as They Wanna Be was released in 1989 and became the group's biggest hit yet; the single "Me So Horny" even climbed into the Top 40 despite virtually nonexistent airplay. Word spread even farther about the group's unadulterated raunchiness, attracting the attention of the ultraconservative watchdog group the American Family Association, who weren't satisfied with the album's parental advisory warning sticker. AFA supporter Jack Thompson, a lawyer and religious activist, convinced Florida governor Bob Martinez to open an inquiry into whether As Nasty as They Wanna Be violated Florida obscenity laws. The state prosecutor determined that action had to be taken on the local, not state, level, and thus in early 1990 Broward County sheriff Nick Navarro obtained a copy of the album and secured a ruling from County Circuit Court Judge Mel Grossman that there was probable cause that the album was legally obscene. Navarro warned record stores around the county that selling the album might subject them to prosecution, and the 2 Live Crew filed suit alleging that Navarro had unconstitutionally overstepped his bounds. In June, District Court Judge Jose Gonzalez ruled that As Nasty as They Wanna Be was legally obscene, and therefore illegal to sell. Record retailer Charles Freeman was arrested two days later for selling the album to an undercover cop, and the three rapping members of the 2 Live Crew were arrested on obscenity charges for performing material from the record in a local club. They were acquitted a few months afterward, thanks in part to expert testimony from Duke professor Henry Louis Gates, and Freeman's conviction was later overturned on appeal.

Meanwhile, As Nasty as They Wanna Be had become the forbidden fruit of choice for teenage boys across the country, selling over two million copies. Several other incidents were reported around the country involving record store owners being arrested for selling the album. The publicity also attracted the attention of George Lucas, who successfully sued Campbell for trademark infringement over his stage and label name, Luke Skyywalker; he subsequently shortened both to Luke. Capitalizing on the media frenzy, Campbell struck a distribution deal with Atlantic and put together a semipolitical album called Banned in the U.S.A., after securing rights for the title track from Bruce Springsteen; it was billed to Luke Featuring 2 Live Crew. It sold like hotcakes on first release, and the title single became the group's second Top 40 hit. In 1991, the group released the first full-length live rap album ever, Live in Concert, as well as the official follow-up to As Nasty as They Wanna Be, Sports Weekend. They sold disappointingly, especially considering the group's recent notoriety, and proved to be the last albums they would record together as a quartet. To compound matters, Luke Records was successfully sued for 1,600,000 million dollars in royalties by MC Shy D.

In 1992, the Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned Jose Gonzalez's ruling that As Nasty as They Wanna Be was legally obscene. At issue was Gonzalez's refusal to heed expert testimony (he'd pronounced himself fit to judge community standards of decency, since he'd lived in the community for 30 years), as well as the fact that the burden of proof of obscenity should have rested with Sheriff Navarro, who submitted nothing besides a copy of the album as evidence. The appeals court's decision was later upheld by the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the 2 Live Crew were drifting apart. Luke and Fresh Kid Ice both released solo albums (I Got S**t on My Mind and The Chinaman, respectively), and original Crew members Ice and Mr. Mixx teamed up as the Rock on Crew for Deal With This. Luke continued his solo career over the rest of the '90s.

In 1994, Luke, Fresh Kid Ice, and new rapper Verb (born Larry Dobson) regrouped as the New 2 Live Crew, issuing the album Back at Your A** for the Nine-4. The same year, the group found itself back in court yet again, this time over a lawsuit by the publishers of Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman." They charged 2 Live Crew with plagiarism for recording a parody of the song on As Clean as They Wanna Be, alleging that the reinterpretation tarnished the image of the original. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which ruled that parody constituted fair use and found in favor of the group. The New 2 Live Crew didn't last long as Luke chose to concentrate on his solo career. In 1995, Luke Records filed for bankruptcy, as Campbell was beset by creditors and expenses; both he and the remaining 2 Live Crew wound up on Lil' Joe, a label founded by his ex-business partner Joe Weinberger. In 1996, Fresh Kid Ice, Brother Marquis, and Mr. Mixx re-formed the 2 Live Crew without Campbell and released Shake a Lil' Somethin'. Brother Marquis departed afterward, and down to the two original California members, the 2 Live Crew issued The Real One in 1998. Luke, meanwhile, continued to record steadily, as well as releasing several compilation albums showcasing new South Florida talent. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: The Original 2 Live Crew

1. Intro

2. 2 Live Nasty Mixx

3. Cuttin' It Up

4. Fresh Kid Ice Is Back

5. Freestyle

6. Dead A** Broke

7. Serious Conversation

8. Tab Ski Cuttin' It Up

9. Jack Boy Story

10. It's Gotta Be Fresh

11. Revelation

12. Scratch Bonus Beats

13. What I Like (TRUE Instrumental)

14. Nasty Mix

15. From The Vaultz Megga Mixx

x

Track List: Back At Your A** For The Nine-4

1. Intro

2. Dem A Talk

3. Sex...Sex

4. Hell, Yeah

5. Ohhh!

6. P**sy And Dick Thing

7. You Go Girl

8. Joke's On You

9. 2 Live Freestyle

10. We Want Some P**sy II

11. Show Him

12. The Initiation

13. F**k N**ga

14. Suck Good Dick

15. Suck My Dick

16. F**k 'Em Intro

17. F**k 'Em

18. Work It

19. Work That P**sy

20. Pigs F**kin

21. Capt. Dick And Dolemite

22. Drop Your Draws

23. The Trick

24. Mega Mix

x

Track List: Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Explicit)

1. Intro

2. Bill So Horny

3. Me So Horny

4. Do Wah Diddy

6. C'mon Babe (Doo Doo Brown Version)

7. Hoochie Mama

8. Shake A Lil' Somethin'

10. Banned In The U.S.A.

11. Sex, I Like It, I Love It

13. Baby Baby Please Just A Little More Head

x

Track List: The Real One (Explicit)

1. Intro

2. 2 Live Is Here

3. 2 Live Party

4. Freaks Inherit The Earth

5. Freak Ho

6. Take If Off

7. Don't Get Busted By A Texas Ranger

8. Bottle And A Blunt

9. The Real One

10. Come On, Get Up And Dance

11. Shake Your Pants

12. Playa Hatas

13. Bring That Money To Me

14. Raise The Roof

15. It's Time

16. World Famous

17. Show You A Shot

18. On Top Of Ol' Rachelle

19. Call Me

20. Ay Papi

21. Ride With Me (Bottom Style)

x

Track List: The Real One

1. 2 Live Is Here

2. 2 Live Party (Feat. KC Of KC & Sunshine Band & Freak Nasty)

3. Take It Off

4. The Real One (Feat. Ice-T)

5. Come On , Get Up And Dance

6. Shake Your Pants

7. Bring That Money To Me

8. Raise The Roof (Feat. Verb)

9. It's Time

10. World Famous

11. Show You A Shot

12. Call Me

13. Ay Papi

14. Rock Ya Baby

15. Be My Private Dancer(Spin Remix)

x

Track List: Sports Weekend (As Clean As They Wanna Be Part 2)

1. Intro

2. Pop That Coochie

3. Ugly As @$&#

4. Let It Rip

5. Baby Baby Please

6. 12" Long

7. I Like It , I Love It

8. For How Long

9. Mega Mixx V

10. Here I Come

11. Sweet Suzy

12. Freaky Behavior

13. You Are Very Erect

14. Some Hot Head

15. For Those Who Like To Do It

16. The Caper

17. Who's Doin' Who

x

Track List: Goes To The Movies: A Decade Of Hits (Explicit)

1. Crew To Crue

2. Me So Horny

3. Move Somethin'

4. Hoochie Mama

6. Hangin' Out

7. In The Dust

10. Dirty Nursery Rhymes

11. If You Believe In Having Sex

12. Pop That P**sy

13. The F**k Shop

x

Track List: Goes To The Movies / A Decade Of Hits

1. Crew To Crue

2. Me So Horny

3. Move Somethin'

4. Hoochie Mama

5. Hangin' Out

6. In The Dust

9. Pop That Coochie

10. Funk Shop

x

Track List: Shake A Lil' Somethin'

1. Intro

2. Shake A Lil' Somethin'

3. Table Dance

4. Jam Session I

5. Savage In The Sack

6. Be My Private Dancer

7. Do The Damn Thang

8. Psk '95

9. Mega Mixx Vi

10. Caper Reprise

11. Shake A Lil' Somethin' (Bonus Beats)

12. Shake A Lil' Somethin' (Instrumental)

x

Track List: Greatest Hits (Explicit)

1. We Want Some P--Sy

2. Throw The 'D'

3. Check It Out Ya'll

4. Move Somethin'

5. HBC

6. Me So Horny

7. C'mon Babe

8. If You Believe In Having Sex

9. Pop That P--Sy

10. Some Hot Head

11. The P--Sy Caper

12. The 2 Live Crew Mega Mix

13. Boyz With Da Bass

14. The Splak Shop

15. We Like To Chill

x

Track List: Greatest Hits

1. Throw The 'D'

2. Move Somethin'

3. Me So Horny

4. C'mon Babe

5. Pop That Coochie

6. Some Hot Head

7. The Caper

8. Boyz With Da Bass

9. The Splak Shop

10. We Like To Chill

11. The 2 Live Crew Mega Mix

x

Track List: Luke's Hitmen For 90's

x

Track List: Sports Weekend (As Nasty As They Wanna Be Part 2)

1. Intro

2. Pop That P**sy

3. For How Long

4. A F**k Is A F**k

5. Let It Rip

6. Baby Baby Please (Just A Little More Head)

7. Graveyard

8. Ugly As F**k

9. A Hooker?

10. Fraternity Joint

11. N**ga's Comin' Up

12. Here I Come

13. I Like It, I Love It

14. F**k Off

15. Mega Mixx V

16. Sweet Suzy

17. Freaky Behavior

18. 12" Long

19. Ain't No P**sy Like...

20. You Are Very Erect

21. Some Hot Head

22. Chesterfield Island

23. I Ain't Bullshittin' III

24. Balls

25. The P**sy Caper

26. Up A Girl's A**

27. Who's F**kin' Who

28. P**sy (Reprise) For Those Who Like To F**k

x

Track List: Live In Concert

1. H-b-c

2. C'mon Babe

3. Face Down A-- Up

5. One And One

7. Sex, I Like It - I Love It

9. If You Believe In Having Sex

11. Move Somethin'

13. Me So Horny

14. Banned In The U.s.a.

x

Track List: As Nasty As They Wanna Be (Explicit)

1. Me So Horny

2. Put Her In The Buck

3. Dick Almighty

4. C'Mon Babe

5. Dirty Nursery Rhymes

6. Break It On Down

7. 2 Live Blues

8. I Ain't Bullshittin

9. Get Loose Now

10. The F**k Shop

11. If You Believe In Having Sex

12. My Seven Bizzo's

13. Get The F**k Out Of My House

14. Reggae Joint

15. Fraternity Record

16. Bad A** B**ch

17. Mega Mixx III

18. Coolin'

x

Track List: As Clean As They Wanna Be

1. The Funk Shop

2. C'mon Babe

3. Get Loose Now

4. Coolin'

5. You Got Larceny

6. Me So Horny

8. My Seven Bizzos

9. City Of Boom

10. Mega Mixx III

11. Break It On Down

x

Track List: Move Somethin'

1. Introduction

2. Drop The Bomb

3. Move Somethin'

4. Ghetto Bass Ii

5. With Your Badself

6. Do Wah Diddy

7. Word Ii

9. Mega Mixx Ii

x

Track List: We Want Some Pxssy (Explicit)

1. We Want Some P**sy ('89 House Mix)

2. We Want Some P**sy (The Classic "Dance")

3. We Want Some P**sy Liberty City Long Hard Mix Live In Berlin

4. We Want Some P**sy Live In Concert

x

Track List: Is What We Are (Explicit)

1. 2 Live Is What We Are...(Word)

2. We Want Some P**sy!!!

3. Check It Out Yall...(Freestyle Rapping)

4. Get It Girl

5. Throw The 'D'

6. Cut It Up

7. Beat Box...(Remix)

8. Mr. Mixx On THe Mix!!

x

Track List: Throw The D/Ghetto Bass (Explicit)

1. Throw The D

2. Ghetto Bass

3. Throw The Dick

4. Throw The Dick Dub Instrumental Mixx

Comments

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You and your partner is good
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These N**gas is Rougish.4Rea l . T h e King .YEAH.....
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I love the song my house
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Nasty A** They want 2 B.Ol skool.Dirtye s t Rappers.mami FL.N the HOUSE.Pop the P**sy Baby.YEAH... T h e King
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Tillys on 5th & revolucion TJ..
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Down a** song
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I love it
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doughty9810
I Love YOUR music

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