Best Music Legend Miami 2007 - Luther Campbell
Luther Campbell paved the way for Pitbull, Trick Daddy, and Rick Ross. And his fight for freedom of speech, some say, laid the groundwork for performers like the late Notorious B.I.G. and Ludacris. You may remember Luke from his days with 2 Live Crew, when his album As Nasty as They Wanna Be launched a court battle over obscenity that went national. The album was deemed obscene by a Broward judge and led to the arrest of a Fort Lauderdale record store owner, as well as that of the group's members for performing songs from the album, which featured the hit single "Me So Horny." But in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court, Uncle Luke prevailed. He also got the last laugh, because the publicity helped the album sell more than two million copies. Luke would face the courts again for copyright infringement and win. He eventually became a solo artist and launched his own label. He's credited with giving Miami rapper Pitbull (who he says is "like his son") his first break and was a pioneer in spotting Miami's, and Latin rappers', potential in the rap game. "Cubans are our brothers and sisters," he says. "Latinos in the U.S. ... I said, ?I have to jump on that shit.'" Zay, a Miami rapper now living in Atlanta, recalls, "It was a learning process being around him. He takes you under his wing. He's bigger than just local he's the pioneer of the South. He stood up for us and paved the way." Today Luke continues to tap new talent. "I don't look for artists every day," he says. "Artists are like girlfriends: Don't go looking for them, just let it happen."