WHEN RUDY Ray Moore talked dirty to the house parties, when Dolomite told inner-city movie audiences “fucking up motherfuckers is my game,” when Redd Foxx talked a blue streak to the velour-lounge crowd, white authorities didn’t pay any attention. But when rappers 2 Live Crew crossed over and reached millions of whites — Southern fraternity brothers first, and now, with a clean version of their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, anybody listening to black radio or going to dance clubs — the law was alerted.
The bust of 2 Live Crew has its racial aspect: detectives had to pass triple-X theaters and strip joints full of good ol’ boys just to arrest the black record-store owner who dared to sell 2 Live Crew in Florida’s Broward County. But there’s a way in which the racism is strategic, a means to achieve a larger agenda.
Supporters of the Crew ask, what about Dice Clay? What about heavy metal? Sam Kinison? Rest assured, in the file cabinets of the family-focused groups and Mississippi reverends and Orange County radio talk-show hosts and Miami lawyers who share information and who have been a big part of the network that triggered the 2 Live Crew bust, one could find transcriptions of the new Dice Clay album. If they succeed in intimidating these foul-mouths — black independent businessmen who make easy targets — bigger fish will be next.
Meanwhile, the Crew come to the Country Club in Reseda on July 25, and they play the Celebrity Theater in Anaheim on July 27. Bring your mom.
© RJ Smith, L.A. Weekly, 5 July 1990