Show by 2 Live Crew is too crude

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
Oct. 30, 1990

In what can be described as a verbal barrage of testosterone, the rap group 2 Live Crew gave a performance Sunday night at the Riviera Theatre that showed the band has a general interest in sex and a specific interest in degrading women.

What they didn’t show were any signs of originality or talent to warrant all the hullabaloo they have generated over the past year. Most of that publicity had to do with whether the group’s music should be banned for being obscene. It definitely shouldn’t.

Banned for being boring is a whole other issue.

Had they just stuck to singing and rapping in concert, 2 Live Crew may have gotten away with their misogynistic lyrics. Aside from their frequent inclusions of “f—” and its various tenses, most of their words were difficult to understand during the show.

But then ringleader Luther Campbell decided to get the crowd into the proper spirit by denigrating the women in the audience. Looking into the crowd for fresh pickings, he rapped this impromptu song to one victim: “The girl in white looks kind of sleazy. She looks like the kind who’d f— real easy.”


Most of the audience seemed to enjoy 2 Live Crew’s act. Many men clapped. One young woman threw a flower to the stage.

The quartet performed on a barren stage, with just their DJ, who scratched, sampled and programmed. The other men tried to sing while creating an attitude onstage.

But not playing instruments, not singing and not dancing must have winded them, because after performing for a half hour, 2 Live Crew left the stage for almost that same amount of time. When they returned, they seemed refreshed enough to pick on some more women and encourage the men to call their dates “whores” and “bitches.”

Four women dressed in thong-style leotards accompanied the group when they sang “Face Down A– Up.” The women gyrated, simulating various sexual positions. But the dancers were poker-faced, as if they knew what they were doing was not only embarrassing, but stupid, too.

Even after watching this exhibition, women from the audience were more than willing to go onstage and dance with 2 Live Crew. Make that dance for 2 Life Crew. For their troubles, they received no signs of affection. One Crew member seemed to take pleasure in shoving a woman around by the neck, pretending to have sex with her.

It’s safe to say that when you arrive at a show in a good mood and leave feeling dirty and angry, something’s wrong.

Over the weekend, I attended the funeral of a close family friend. The 2 Live Crew concert depressed me more.





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