If you grew up in South Florida in the late '80s, Uncle Luke and his 2 Live Crew are nothing short of legendary. Their fun-loving, filth-ridden bass music was once considered so vile, they would get arrested just for performing it. Even by today's standards, the lyrics are blush-inducing.
Nasty As They Wanna Be, the group's most famous album, was released in 1989, and the seminal 2 Live Crew lineup of Fresh Kid Ice, Brother Marquis, and Uncle Luke haven't shared the stage since 1991.
That is, until the other night in Miami.
Technically speaking, the Crew didn't hit the LIV Miami stage until well after 2 a.m. Thursday, so we like to think of the performance as a freaky deaky Thanksgiving present from our favorite booty bass band ever.
We really did grow up in South Florida and 2 Live Crew was the soundtrack to our earliest memories. There wasn't a roller rink around that didn't bump some "Hoochie Mama," as weird as that is for us to imagine now.
A reunion decades in the making is something to celebrate, unfortunately, most of the people who actually go to LIV aren't from Miami. They aren't even from the United States. You're more likely to take a random German dude home than anyone you'll ever see again, which is pretty down with the 2 Live Crew ethos, but doesn't mean anyone in the building will understand what an important moment they're about to witness.
After hours working the crowd up with nasty rap music directly descended from the Crew, the music died down. A giant Parental Advisory Warning flashed on the club's screen, a nod to the group's successful legal battles in the Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The government wanted to shut this shit down. But decades later, the same ruckus was about to begin again.
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Fresh Kid Ice, Brother Marquis, and Uncle Luke came on the stage to "Throw the D," though the command to "listen up y'all, 'cause this is it" probably reminded a bunch of kids of that Fergie song that ripped it off.
They were joined by a bunch of Fly Girls-style dancers in short-shorts and tube socks twerkin' along to the beat. The Crew were decked out in UM jackets, proud to be reppin' their city together once again.
As they performed "Get it Girl," we were getting our groove on, but the rest of the crowd was looking kind of confused. And admittedly, if you don't know the aging gentleman rappin' about pussy, the whole thing coulda been kinda "WTF?"
Then Marquis, Ice, and Luke invited girls on the stage to "get it." But none of them had any idea how to get down to classic Miami bass.
Regardless, the paid dancers were shaking it, and instead of the usual three-songs-and-you're-done show that's standard at LIV, 2 Live Crew performed for a full 25 minutes.
They gave us some "Pop That Pussy," some "One and One," "Hoochie Mama," and "Face Down, Ass Up." They even gave us Uncle Luke's "I Wanna Rock (Doo Doo Brown)," and obviously went all in with "Me So Horny." The celebration took the Miami nostalgia to the next level when the DJ dropped DJ Laz's "Esa Morena," because why the fuck not?
After a solid half hour and a shower of confetti, the Crew and their dancing girls exited the stage. The crowd could now go back to their regularly-scheduled programming of rap music that never would have existed without the foundation 2 Live Crew laid down, and we managed to grab Fresh Kid Ice on his way out to the car for a few words.
"We decided to put our differences aside to do this for the people because we're getting up in age," he said. "A lot of people been trying for years, and this is the first club that's been able to put it together. From this, it might start a new relationship with the group where we can show the people what it was about then."
He said they've been hearing requests since the original announcement to take the reunion on the road so other towns and cities can get a taste of that old-school locker room talk bass shit, and at least Ice is hopeful it can go down.
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"Being together, it felt a little different at first but it felt the same," he said. "The chemistry was there."
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