Today in Hip-Hop: 2 Live Crew Members Arrested in Florida for Obscenity
On this day, June 11, in hip-hop history...
1990: One look at their raunchy discography and lyrical content will tell you that Miami's 2 Live Crew has never been one to shy away from controversy. And that was no exception when members of the crew got arrested on obscenity charges in Florida on June 11, 1990.
After releasing their third album, Nasty As They Wanna Be, in 1989, a federal judge in Florida ruled that tracks off their record like "Me So Horny," "Dick Almighty" and "The Fuck Shop" were too obscene, making it illegal in certain counties of the Sunshine State to play and sell the album. U.S. district court judge Jose Gonzalez ruled the album obscene and illegal to sell and Broward County sheriff Nick Navarro enforced the ruling to prohibit the selling the album. Claiming freedom of speech, some retailers were arrested to continuing to sell it. When the Crew performed songs from their album in a Florida venue, Club Futura in Hollywood, Fl. on June 11, things got ugly. Crew leader Luther Campbell and Christopher Wongwon were both arrested for violating a prohibition against obscenity in the county.
Following a lengthy trial that went all the way to the Supreme Court and media circus, 2 Live Crew and the DJ that played their music were all eventually acquitted, claiming that the music was an exercise in freedom of speech. As Nasty As They Wanna Be went on to sell over two million albums, making it 2 Live Crew's most successful release to date.
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