Today in Hip-Hop: 2 Live Crew Drops Their Debut Album ‘The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are’
On this day, July 25, in hip-hop history...
1986: The 2 Live Crew dropped off their debut LP The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are.
The group was founded in the mid-1980s in southern California (though the group reps Miami Fla.) by Christopher "Fresh Kid Ice/The Chinaman" Wong Won, David "DJ Mr. Mixx" Hobbs and Yuri "Amazing Vee" Vielot. Their then-manager Luther Campbell—more commonly known as the infamous Uncle Luke or Luke Skyywalker—assisted the group in relocating to Miami after their first single, "The Revelation," became a surprise banger in the region in 1984. By this point, Amazing Vee was no longer part of the crew and Mark "Brother Marquis" Ross had just been added on. Luke, their raunchy label head, acted as their frontman.
A string of hits led to the 2 Live Crew unleashing their debut album, The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are under Luke Records. The certified gold LP, much like the crew's career, was explicit beyond measure and, along with other rap albums at the time, made the music industry redefine censorship. While gangster rap was rapidly flourishing across the nation, 2 Live Crew threw listeners for a loop with their overly aggressive flows and hyper-sexual bars, particularly on lewd tracks like "Get It Girl," "Throw the 'D'" and their "national anthem," "We Want Some Pussy." Their live shows proved to be equally vulgar.
2 Live Crew coined the term "Miami bass" with their inaugural album. While the pioneering hip-hop group's debut didn't rank high on the Billboard 200—peaking at No. 128 during its 33-week stretch—it did reach No. 24 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are was the group's defining moment, but their notorious followup, 1989's As Nasty As They Wanna Be, became the first platinum album from a southern rap group. Government officials and spectators alike scrutinized the group for their salacious songs, leading to several arrests and court appearances for their "obscene" lyrics, which were later acquitted.
See 60 Hip-Hop Albums Turning 20 in 2018