The 2 Live Crew

The 2 Live Crew

Biography

The 2 Live Crew was a hip hop group from Miami, Florida. They caused considerable controversy with the sexual themes in their work, particularly on their 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be.

The 2 Live Crew was created by DJ Mr. Mixx (David Hobbs) with fellow rappers Fresh Kid Ice (Chris Wong Won), Jimbo Ralston, and Amazing V. (Yuri Vielot). The group released its first single, "Revelation", in 1985. "Revelation" was popular in Florida, so The 2 Live Crew (sans Amazing V) relocated to Miami. Rapper Brother Marquis (Mark Ross) joined The 2 Live Crew for its next single "What I Like". Local rapper Luke (Luther Campbell) gave The 2 Live Crew a record deal and worked as the group's manager and then lead vocalist. The 2 Live Crew's debut album, The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are, was released in 1986. Alex Henderson of allmusic commented that the album "did take sexually explicit rap lyrics to a new level of nastiness", with tracks like "We Want Some Pussy" and "Throw The 'D'". With word of mouth attention, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In 1987, a Florida store clerk was charged and acquitted of felony charges for selling the album to a fourteen-year-old girl.

Campbell decided to sell a separate clean version in addition to the explicit version of the next album, Move Somethin' (1988), produced by Mr. Mixx. A record store clerk in Alexander City, Alabama was cited for selling a copy to an undercover police officer in 1988. It was the first time in the United States that a record store owner was held liable for obscenity over music. The charges were dropped after a jury found the record store not guilty.

In 1989, the group released their album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, which also became the group's most successful album. A large part of its success was due to the single "Me So Horny", which was popular despite little radio rotation. The American Family Association (AFA) did not think the presence of a "Parental Advisory" sticker was enough to adequately warn listeners of what was inside the case. Jack Thompson, a lawyer affiliated with the AFA, met with Florida Governor Bob Martinez and convinced him to look into the album to see if it met the legal classification of obscene. In 1990 action was taken at the local level and Nick Navarro, Broward County sheriff, received a ruling from County Circuit Court judge Mel Grossman that probable cause for obscenity violations existed. In response, Luther Campbell maintained that people should focus on issues relating to hunger and poverty rather than on the lyrical content of their music.

Navarro warned record store owners that selling the album may be prosecutable. The 2 Live Crew then filed a suit against Navarro. That June, U.S. district court Judge Jose Gonzalezruled the album obscene and illegal to sell. Charles Freeman, a local retailer, was arrested two days later, after selling a copy to an undercover police officer. This was followed by the arrest of three members of The 2 Live Crew after they performed some material from the album at a nightclub. They were acquitted soon after, as professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. testified at their trial in defense of their lyrics. Freeman's conviction was overturned on appeal as well.

In 1992, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the obscenity ruling from Judge Gonzalez, and the Supreme Court of the United States refused to hear Broward County's appeal. As in the Freeman case, Gates testified on behalf of Navarro, arguing that the material that the county alleged was profane actually had important roots in African-American vernacular, games, and literary traditions and should be protected.

As a result of the controversy, As Nasty As They Wanna Be sold over two million copies. A few other retailers were later arrested for selling it as well, including Canadian Marc Emery who was convicted in Ontario in 1991, and would later gain fame as a marijuana activist. Later hard rock band Van Halen sued over an uncleared sample of their song "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" in The 2 Live Crew Song "The Fuck Shop". The publicity then continued when George Lucas, owner of the Star Wars universe, successfully sued Campbell for appropriating the name "Skywalker" for his record label, Luke Skyywalker Records. Campbell changed his stage name to Luke (and changed the record label's name to Luke Records) and the group released an extremely political follow up album, Banned In The U.S.A. after obtaining permission to use an interpolation of Bruce Springsteen's Born In The U.S.A. The 2 Live Crew paraphernalia with the Luke Skyywalker or Skyywalker logos are often sought-after collector's items.

In 1991, The 2 Live Crew released the very first live rap album, Live In Concert, and Sports Weekend, a full-length studio original. It did not gain the same sales level that they experienced with As Nasty As They Wanna Be. The 2 Live Crew members went their separate ways after this. Luke pursued his solo music career and other projects.

In 1992, Fresh Kid Ice released unreleased tracks from pre-Luke The 2 Live Crew, Deal with This under the name Rock On Crew, while Luke and Ice also released new solo albums, I Got Shit On My Mind and The Chinaman.

Mark "Brother Marquis" Ross co-starred alongside Fred Williamson in the film South Beach and started a new group with Aldrin "DJ Toomp" Davis, and Thomas "The Saint" Brooks of Marianna Fl, a former member of Poison Clan, which was also signed to Campbell's label. They named the group 2 Nazty, and released the album "Indecent Exposure" on Attitude Records in 1993. The single was called "Can't Say I Love You," but it did not chart, and the group never released a second album. The single was a departure from the typical 2 Live nasty rhymes, and focuses on what a deep emotion love is, and how it should not be said to anyone lightly. The rest of the album sounds like a The 2 Live Crew record, and focuses on sexual exploits of the members.

The hard feelings over the split of the The 2 Live Crew is apparent on the album, as Marquis is heard on the track "Interview" saying he was fired from the group, and that the other members had no love for him. DJ Toomp also has a line in "Be My Bitch" comparing signing a deal with Skyywalker Records to signing your life away.

1994 saw Luke, Fresh Kid Ice and a new addition to the group, Verb, regrouping as The New 2 Live Crew, issuing Back At Your Ass For The Nine 4. The New 2 Live Crew broke up in 1995.

Discography

The 2 Live Crew - 2 Live Is What We Are

The 2 Live Crew - 2 Live Is What We Are

Luke Records 1986
Two Live Crew - Move Somthin'

Two Live Crew - Move Somthin'

Luke Records 1988
The 2 Live Crew - As Nasty As They Wanna Be

The 2 Live Crew - As Nasty As They Wanna Be

Luke Records 1989
The 2 Live Crew - Live In Concert

The 2 Live Crew - Live In Concert

Effect Records 1990
The 2 Live Crew - Banned In The U.S.A.

The 2 Live Crew - Banned In The U.S.A.

Lil' Joe Records 1990
The 2 Live Crew - Sports Weekend (As Nasty As They Wanna Be Part II)

The 2 Live Crew - Sports Weekend (As Nasty As They Wanna Be Part II)

Luke Records 1991
The 2 Live Crew's Greatest Hits

The 2 Live Crew's Greatest Hits

Luke Records 1992
2 Live Crew / Rock On Crew - Deal With This

2 Live Crew / Rock On Crew - Deal With This

Macola Records 1993
The New 2 Live Crew - Back At Your Ass For The Nine-4

The New 2 Live Crew - Back At Your Ass For The Nine-4

Lil' Joe Records 1994
The 2 Live Crew - Shake A Lil' Somethin'

The 2 Live Crew - Shake A Lil' Somethin'

Lil' Joe Records 1995
The 2 Live Crew - The Original 2 Live Crew

The Original 2 Live Crew

Blue Dolphin Entertainment 1995
The 2 Live Crew Goes To The Movies: A Decade Of Hits

The 2 Live Crew Goes To The Movies: A Decade Of Hits

Lil' Joe Records 1997
The 2 Live Crew - The Real One

The 2 Live Crew - The Real One

Lil' Joe Records 1998
The 2 Live Crew - Greatest Hits Vol. 2

2 Live Crew - Greatest Hits Vol. 2

Lil' Joe Records 1999
The 2 Live Crew - The Classic Collection

The 2 Live Crew - The Classic Collection

Street Dance Records 1999
The 2 Live Crew - Private Personal Parts

The 2 Live Crew - Private Personal Parts

Lil' Joe Records 2000
The 2 Live Crew - The Essential DJ 12'' Inch And Mega Mixes

The 2 Live Crew - The Essential DJ 12'' Inch And Mega Mixes

Lil' Joe Records 2002

Guest Appearances

No Face - Wake Your Daughter Up
  • Fake Hair Wearin' Bitch

No Face - Wake Your Daughter Up

Rush Associated Labels 1990
Luniz - Lunitik Muzik
  • 20 Bluntz A Day

Luniz - Lunitik Muzik

Noo Trybe Records, C-Note Records 1997

Compilations

Male Vs. Female: Battle Of The Sexes
  • We Want Some P***y (Clean)

Various - Male Vs. Female: Battle Of The Sexes

Jive 1988
Twins (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Yakety Yak

Various - Twins (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

WTG Records 1988
Monster TV Rap Hits
  • Move Somethin'

Various - Monster TV Rap Hits

Tommy Boy Music 1989
Rap Beginnings Vol. 1
  • The Revelation

Various - Rap Beginnings Vol. 1

K-Tel International 1989
Hangin' With The Homeboys (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • We Want Some Pussy

Various - Hangin' With The Homeboys (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Luke Records 1991
Boyz N The Hood (Music From The Motion Picture)
  • Hangin' Out

Various - Boyz N The Hood (Music From The Motion Picture)

Warner Bros. Records, Qwest Records 1991
New Jack City (Music From The Motion Picture)
  • In The Dust

Various - New Jack City (Music From The Motion Picture)

Giant Records 1991
Ghetto Style DJ's Bass
  • Throw The Dick

Various - Ghetto Style DJ's Bass

Luke Records 1994
Friday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Hoochie Mama

Various - Friday (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Priority Records 1995
Strip Jointz: Hot Songs For Sexy Dancers
  • Me So Horny

Various - Strip Jointz: Hot Songs For Sexy Dancers

Robbins Entertainment 1996
Booty And The Beat: Bass Jams Vol. 1
  • Me So Horny

Various - Booty And The Beat: Bass Jams Vol. 1

Priority Records 1996
Lil' Joe's Rap Hits Vol. 1
  • I Can't Go For That

Various - Lil' Joe's Rap Hits Vol. 1

Lil' Joe Records 1997
Luke's Hall Of Fame
  • Throw The "D"

Various - Luke's Hall Of Fame

Lil' Joe Records 1997
Luke's Hall Of Fame Vol. 2
  • Do Wah Diddy

Various - Luke's Hall Of Fame Vol. 2

Lil' Joe Records 1997
Bass Hits From Da Bottom Vol. 1
  • Get It Girl

Various - Bass Hits From Da Bottom Vol. 1

Lil' Joe Records 1997
Bass Hits From Da Bottom Vol. 2
  • Mamolapenga

Various - Bass Hits From Da Bottom Vol. 2

Lil' Joe Records 1997
Luke's Hall Of Fame Vol. 3
  • Pop That Pussy

Various - Luke's Hall Of Fame Vol. 3

Lil' Joe Records 1998
D.J. Magic Mike Presents Bootyz In Motion
  • Me So Horny

Various - D.J. Magic Mike Presents Bootyz In Motion

Jake Records 1998
Booty Mixx Party Club Classics
  • Shake A Lil' Somethin'

Various - Booty Mixx Party Club Classics

Lil' Joe Records 1998
Ringmaster (Music From And Inspired By Jerry Springer's Movie)
  • Living In America

Various - Ringmaster (Music Inspired By Jerry Springer's Movie)

Lil' Joe Records 1999
Bass Mixx Party Club Classics
  • Be My Private Dancer (DJ Spin Remix)

Various - Bass Mixx Party Club Classics

Lil' Joe Records 1999
Strip Club Classics
  • C'mon Babe Doo Doo Brown

Various - Strip Club Classics

Lil' Joe Records 1999
Latin Booty Party Jams
  • Pop That Coochie (Slammin Sama Rmx)

Various - Latin Booty Party Jams

Lil' Joe Records 1999
Booty Super Party: Club Classics
  • Move Somethin'

Various - Booty Super Party: Club Classics

Lil' Joe Records 1999
Luke's Booty Calls & Chants
  • Get The Fuck Out Of My House

Various - Luke's Booty Calls & Chants

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Down South DJ's
  • If You Believe In Having Sex

Various - Down South DJ's

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Booty Essentials 2001
  • Shake A Lil' Somethin'

Various - Booty Essentials 2001

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Dance 'N Soul Mixx 2000
  • Do The D Thing

Various - Dance 'N Soul Mixx 2000

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Luke's Hall Of Fame Vol. 4
  • Dirty Nursery Rhymes

Various - Luke's Hall Of Fame Vol. 4

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Pimps, Players & Hustlers
  • Bottle & A Blunt

Various - Pimps, Players & Hustlers

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Booty Summer Party
  • Show You A Shot

Various - Booty Summer Party

Lil' Joe Records 2000
Dirty South Booty Freaknik
  • Get It Girl (Extended Mix)

Various - Dirty South Booty Freaknik

Lil' Joe Records 2001
Hip Hop Classics: Players From The Underground
  • We Want Some Pussy (Live In Berlin)

Various - Hip Hop Classics: Players From The Underground

Lil' Joe Records 2001
Old School Booty Jams
  • Beat Box

Various - Old School Booty Jams

Lil' Joe Records 2001
Booty Phat Classics
  • Move Somethin

Various - Booty Phat Classics

Lil' Joe Records 2001
Gotta Lot Of Booty
  • Shake A Lil' Something

Various - Gotta Lot Of Booty

Lil' Joe Records 2002
Bootylicious
  • Throw The D*ck (Original)

Various - Bootylicious

Lil' Joe Records 2002
Booty Summer Party 2003
  • Mama Juanita

Various - Booty Summer Party 2003

Lil' Joe Records 2003
XXX Hip Hop
  • Pop That Pussy

Various - XXX Hip Hop

Def Jam Recordings 2003
Booty 101: The Forbidden Dances
  • Move Somethin'

Various - Booty 101: The Forbidden Dances

Lil' Joe Records 2003
Booty Classics Throwback
  • Shake A Lil' Somethin'

Various - Booty Classics Throwback

Lil' Joe Records 2004