By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
Nassie Shahoulian, AKA Notorious Nastie, the quintessential Renaissance man of Miami's hipster scene, is MCing the second annual Miami New Times Brew at the Zoo, where a 4,000-plus horde of beer-swilling Dionysian degenerates is sampling a potent variety of ales, pilsners, lagers, and stouts. There is even a Four Loko stand.
The promoter/actor/hot dog maker is wearing a toga to augment the Delta Tau Chi Animal House vibe he has brought to the celebration. As the booty track "Shake What Yo Momma Gave Ya" plays in the background, Nastie's raspy voice booms through the microphone:
"I have had many dreams in my life, and all of those dreams have come true tonight... We have a very, very, very, special surprise guest for you, my dear friend and yours, the one and only Uncle Luke!"
A couple hundred revelers cheer madly as Luther Campbell makes his way to the front of the stage. Dressed in a white linen short-sleeved shirt, white cargo shorts, and dark brown boots, he comes out chanting, "Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug! Chug!"
Nastie, pumping his fists furiously in the air, interjects with his own "Toga! Toga! Toga!" Campbell joins in. "Toga! Toga!"
But the crowd comes up with an even better one: "Luke for mayor! Luke for mayor! Luke for mayor! Luke for mayor!"
That was the scene April 30, two months after New Times decided to back Campbell for Miami-Dade County mayor. Our "Luke's Gospel" columnist is one of 11 candidates on the May 24 ballot. As the only staff writer with more than a decade of experience covering Miami-Dade politics, I was charged with assisting Uncle Luke in his first run for elected office.
Watching the crowd chant his name sent a jolt of bona fide Obama hope up my spine. I threw conventional wisdom out the window, believing that the onetime raunchiest entertainer in hip-hop — the guy who came up with the memorable lyrics "face down, ass up" — could actually win a countywide special election. And why not? County government is a freak show, so might as well get the freakiest ringmaster the community has ever known to run the circus.
Videos of Luther Campbell on the campaign trail:
Wednesday, January 26, 3:46 p.m.: The editor of Miami New Times, one of those old-school shoe-leather journalists who was part of a Miami Herald Pulitzer Prize-winning team in the '90s, is cooking up a tongue-in-cheek idea for a cover story. The boss man calls me and the managing editor into his office. "Let's run Luther Campbell for county mayor and write about it," he gleefully asserts. "There's no chance he'd win, but this would be great publicity for the paper and for Luke's column."
He assigns me the task of running and chronicling the campaign. Great, more work, I think to myself. The managing editor, who cut his journalistic teeth covering public housing for the Chicago Tribune in the '80s, immediately senses a problem. "Wait a minute," he says. "We're gonna have our own reporter cover a political campaign he's running? We can't do that."
The editor-in-chief is unfazed: "Relax! No African-American has ever won countywide office in Miami-Dade. We'll use it to spoof the political process!" The managing editor is unconvinced. He was in Chicago in 1983 when Harold Washington stunned the city's political establishment by winning the mayor's seat. "I was the only reporter to cover Washington's first press conference," the second-in-command affirms. "No one took him seriously. Then the two Irish candidates split the vote, all the black folks turned out, and he won."
The chief notes that our sister newspaper in 2003 ran the late child star Gary Coleman for California governor as a joke. "C'mon, this is gonna be a good show," the editor says. Little did we know that Luke was deadly serious or, as he would tell WLRN radio, "serious as a heart attack." He would make that his campaign slogan.
Wednesday, February 2, 11 a.m.: Campbell calls me at the New Times office. "Hey, man, I just heard on Hot 105 that y'all are having a press conference with me to make an announcement." He is clearly not happy. "Hell, nah. I'm not gonna look like a joke. This is my life we're talking about, brah!"
"But you're the one who wants to run for mayor," I reply.
"I don't want to do it until everything is in place," Campbell counters. "I'm not going in there to be the joke, brah. I'm not doing it."
He abruptly hangs up.
I call him back ten times. I kept getting his voicemail. Frustrated, this ink-stained wretch wonders how in hell he became the de facto campaign manager. I'm no Karl Rove, that's for sure. Now I have to contact every assignment editor and political reporter in town to cancel a 2 p.m. meetup at New Times HQ. FML.
Meanwhile, the press conference's mastermind, my editor, sulks in his office. "See, I knew he was gonna bail on us," he grouses. "C'mon, Luke. Goddammit! We're supposed to make fun of the political process!"
The managing editor, who spends his free time writing macabre short fiction stories featuring hobos, hermaphrodites, and exiled Cuban spies, walks over to my desk. "What are you gonna do now?" he asks. "Do we still have a story?"
Hey Luke, does it mean that since you're running for Mayor, we can't "Kick" "Game?"If not, I'll fake it: I can talk a lil' politics. But I'd probably do my best talking with that Cutie Pie you got hanging on your arm. I just heard the Stylistic, "You Make Me Feel Brand New."Man let me go, my wife's looking over my shoulder. Anyway, tell her, "I always feel like,somebody's Watching Me, Is this a Fantasy OH HO HO.
So by this guy seemingly grabbing so much support even amongst 'mainstreamers' (see 'reactions'), are we saying that it is now acceptable to vote for those who wouldn't normally qualify for street-cleaning jobs - but would - qualify as local government officials?????Please, Miami-Dade........come to your senses already!!
Luther Campbell should learn to manage his bastard children that whore the streets of Miami. How could anyone in their right mind consider this lowlife and unfortunate businessman to represent Miami. He's no Obama, that's for sure.
Luther Campbell should run a fucking strip club not a city. I pray for those of you who vote for him even if you think its a joke to you. Stupid stupid stupid.
An Interview with Miami-Dade Mayoral Candidate Luther "Uncle Luke" Campbell http://bit.ly/kVGeOr
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As a professional educated African American female with multiple degrees and a member of AKA Soriority. I give it up to the Notorious Luther Campbell. Luke is a very educated fine gentleman that I met several years ago in my home town in Chas. Sc. I love you Luke and I wish you the best!!!!!
Google in the input: = ashops.us ==you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o
Google in the input: = ashops.us ==you can find many brand names, even more surprising is that he will sell you the unexpected o(∩_∩)o
Nassie Shahoulian, AKA Notorious Nastie is an A-hole. thats y we love him. Fu*k uh hater hateing on my home boy. Eat a dick you cock suckers! 104B
Who's a 'hater'....why just because he's black?? If this guy were asian or mexican, i'd feel the same way.........stop already with the 'race card'!!!
I understand where you're coming from sister but if you want to represent Luke be a little more lady like and professional when you make a statement. Luke does not need any negative connotations against his character or campaign. Remember that what effects one directly effects all indirectly as Dr. King stated... Sometimes its best to remain silent to remove all doubt... and check your grammar...
You know Luke is alot like Donald Trump - Actually pretty intelligent as a businessman - But Dude axs-a-fool for most of his adult life, was a self-admitted dope slinger in the early days - Has no respect for women and now wants to be taken serious. Luke has every right to be "as nasty as he wants to be' but we have the right not to vote for this morally corrupt rapper wanabee. yes, I said it...he is no different than the typical music label who lived off the backs of other talented rappers...He is a DJ for the most part.
I read your statement and you have a right to your opinion but I worked in Washington for several years and for your informations politicians hire strippers every weekend to meet their needs and do what their wives can't do. Respect comes from with-in let the man live and make a change. Remove the plank from your eye before you judge other's... Never bite the hand that feeds you because you might just need it one day... I am a educated AA Female with multiple degrees and a member of AKA Soriority and I love Luke's music. you should listen to some of the history in the lyrics before you judge not just the explicit lyrics. He is very intelligent individual and may drop some history on you. Woman make a choice to disrespect themselves Luke cannot make them do anything they do not want to do,obviously you listened to his music to form an opinion...
A semi-Gonzo rundown of Luke's campaign up to this point. I enjoyed the read, and it's good to know what's actually been going on in Luke's corner, since most of the publicity outside of the New Times has been focused on the other people running. I had no idea he was at Brew at the Zoo, and had I known I probably would have gone.
He'll definitely get a large chunk of the Black vote, along with whatever young voters decide to turn out.
Luther Campbell campaign is like Donald Trump in blackface,,,,,clearly a distraction.!! Oh, but wait, he has all the Michelle Spence Jones voters. You know...face down, ass up, because all they do is phuck!!! Not only is this a joke, it's sad that he is getting so much pub, oh, I forgot....Donald (without his millions) in blackface. A FARCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dude go phuck yourself. Seeing these racist comments on this message board is so sickening and moderators need to clean it up.
Al it is really sad that all you have to offer is racist hateful commentary. You should go to church and ask God to forgive you.
Frank, I will tell you what is truly sad, that the MNT continues to publish Lukes "racist hateful commentary"
And no wonder you like to post comments on the MNT web-site. Punch 17. Vote for Luke all day, every day.
Please cite some examples of his alleged "racist hateful commentary" because if you're going to point to his tea party tirades well then you must wear a white hood inside your house.
"The editor-in-chief is unfazed: "Relax! No African-American has ever won countywide office in Miami-Dade. We'll use it to spoof the political process!" The managing editor is unconvinced. He was in Chicago in 1983 when Harold Washington stunned the city's political establishment by winning the mayor's seat. "I was the only reporter to cover Washington's first press conference," the second-in-command affirms. "No one took him seriously. Then the two Irish candidates split the vote, all the black folks turned out, and he won."
Well, its pretty simple in CHI. The city is 1/3 black and in 1983 there had to be many more African-Americans in that city making up about a million people. Miami-Dade county is only 20% black and even if the black voters get out other people have to pitch in as well. That means other oppressed latinos in Dade county need to vote for Luke. Also, Miami-Dade seems to have the lowest voter turn out in the entire state of Florida except for the cuban community. That doesn't seem very convincing to me. Get out and vote people if you want to make a difference in your community.
It is ridiculous for your second-in-command to compare Harold Washington in 1983 Chicago to Luther Campbell's candidacy in 2011 Miami-Dade.
Harold Washington became the Democratic nominee in Chicago with only 37% of the vote BECAUSE THERE WAS NO RUNOFF ELECTION. Because Chicago is a Democratic stronghold, the general election against the Republican candidate is a mere formality.
In Miami-Dade, the election is nonpartisan. Assuming no one reaches a 50%+1 majority in the first election, the top two candidates square off in a final election.
Luther Campbell has zero chance of being elected in an inevitable head-to-head runoff election with a Hispanic candidate. And if the Miami-Dade system was in place in 1983 Chicago, Washington would not have stood a chance either.
The fact remains that crooked Julio Robaina is the leading candidate according to the polls. He will trounce Luther Campbell in a runoff. So a vote for Campbell is a vote for Robaina. If you believe Miami-Dade needs better leadership than a Hialeah loanshark, reconsider your support for Campbell.
I have to agree with you Luke doesn't have much of a chance in the circus known as 2011 Miami-Dade politics. This is why I prefer living in primarily democratic cities/counties. If you want change, you have to live in a more progressive city/county with educated voters. Half the voters in Miami-Dade do not have a phucking clue who they are voting for.
At first I thought you were advocating Campbell's candidacy as a joke or perhaps you are really a secret Robaina supporter. But frankly, I was shocked to read here that your editor ordered you to run Campbell's campaign.
Don't you and your editors have any journalistic ethics? What a shame! The old New Times had much more integrity.
Luther Campbell has declared both personal and business bankruptcies. If he can't manage his own finances, why on on earth would you want him managing the county's $7.5 billion budget?
Also, the courts found that Campbell cheated other performers out of more than a million dollars in royalties. Why would you want to elect someone with a documented record of cheating others?
Finally, it is a 100% sure bet that the next mayor will be Hispanic, and crooked Julio Robaina is leading the polls. Why on earth would you want to risk putting Campbell into the runoff and assure crooked Robaina a victory?
Why are you so concerned about Luke's personal life? Bankruptcy does not mean that you're broke it means that you are protecting your assets. White people do it everday in Washington. I worked in DC. for many years and seen it. It was created to protect the White Man, are you jealous? Luke is doing just fine. Obviously your interested in his life...
MiamiHerald´s poll shows Robaina with 44% support among voters that have already cast their ballots, let's keep it up, we need transparency for MD county
Wishful thinking. The Herald poll showed Julio Robaina's support fell 3 points to 25% and Carlos Gimenez gained 11 percentage points to put him at 20%. The people are on to loanshark Julio and his future is not looking good.
Every time you guys tout "Notorious" Nastie as cool, hip, or trendy, you lose more and more of your respectability and integrity. People who are actually part of the "scene" as artists and not reporters or revelers, know exactly how uncool Nastie really is. The notorious part is right though -- he is notorious for not paying bands what he promised them and for avoiding them when they try to collect. He has stiffed hundreds of hardworking musicians and artists in Miami and for someone who is supposed to be promoting our scene, that is really, really sad and a testament to just how "nasty" he really is.
Estrellar you have no credibility because you hide by an anonymous avatar. Show some guts and put your name to your accusations instead of sounding like a whiny pissant with an axe to grind.
Um, no, hotshot reporter. Why don't you do some "investigating" or do you guys not do that anymore? Your paper's "articles" read like a publicist's wet dream. Have you ever talked to the hundreds of musicians that have worked for Nastie? Probably not, huh? Don't call on me to do your work for you, lazy ass.
Sweet heart I get tips from off the record sources all the time, but I know who they are just like woodward and bernstein knew the identity of deepthroat, who provided confirmed intel that helped them break a story. Posting an anonymous comment on a story to bash someone without any substantial proof and complain that we're not doing anything about it is not providing an "anonymous tip." So go suck estrellita's balls for a while.
Great comeback. You shouldn't even call yourself a journalist. Real journalists take anonymous tips all the time so you're excuses are complete BS. That person was right, you are a lazy ass. Or you just don't give a fuck. Lol, or is that nasty gets you and your fellow journalists comped? LMAO, prob all three. What a bunch of sell-outs. Bring back the old New Times -- circa late 80s, early to mid-90s. The present staff sucks.
"You are certainly no deepthroat so dont flatter yourself" What a fucking joke. You should be ashamed of yourself. Have you no fucking pride at all? At least admit you're wrong. Don't choke on nasty's ass hair the next time you're kissing his ass.