2 Live Crew at Fortune Sound Club

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It was so much easier to shock the living shit out of people in the old days. Take, for example, the case of Florida-spawned rappers 2 Live Crew, who play the Fortune Sound Club on Wednesday (January 23). Back when Al Gore was still a few years away from inventing the Internet and Kathleen Hanna had yet to make the observation that Kurt Cobain smelled like Teen Spirit, the MC known as Luther Campbell helped kickstart a good old-fashioned witch hunt. Flash back to 1989, and 2 Live Crew was an obscure hip-hop group from Miami. Then came the release of As Nasty As They Wanna Be, featuring the Full Metal Jacket–sampling “Me So Horny”. Before you could moan “Me love you long time”, record retailers were being arrested for selling the record, which was dubbed “obscene” by hysterical government officials. Campbell—who rightly observed that the U.S. should be more focussed on hunger and poverty than a song with a few swear words—also found himself, along with his bandmates, arrested and charged. The fallout? As Nasty As They Wanna Be went double platinum, and hip-hop artists across the continent had a whole new set of reasons to be pissed off at whitey America. Not to mention embrace the fact that it’s okay to be relentlessly horny.

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