2 Live Crew Live in Phoenix (in 1990)

Categories: Last Night

Shea Serrano
Fresh Kid Ice and Uncle Luke
By Shea Serrano

8:45 p.m.: So here's what this is: More than 20 years ago, 2 Live Crew, one of rap's most notoriously offensive acts, performed in Phoenix.

The concert was recorded and released as a live show album called The 2 Live Crew Live In Concert. It came out a few months after their Banned In The U.S.A. album (most famous for the eponymous single "Banned In The U.S.A." and "Do The Bart," a song with a video that made white guys think it was okay to wear hightop fades, which came after their double platinum Nasty As They Wanna album, which probably contributed to a sizeable portion of Florida's unplanned pregnancies at the end of the 80s. Somehow, The 2 Live Crew Live In Concert ended up being the only concert album the group ever released.

Even more somehow-y, a cassette version ended up in a large blue plastic in a thrift store in Houston for sale. It was 0.75. I bought it. And now I'm going to listen to it. And now you're all caught up.

Shea Serrano
8:45:15: BTW, some other tapes I grabbed: The soundtrack to 1986's Stand By Me, Boston's Boston, Whitney Houston's Whitney, Seal's Seal II, Cameo's Word Up!, Tupac's All Eyez On Me (it's broken, but still) and a handful of unopened Fuji 90-minute cassettes to use to make proper mixtapes. All told, it was a little more than $9.

8:45:30: BTW BTW, I'd actually planned to listen to this about an hour ago but my sons, both kindergartners, were still awake so that was a no go. I'm saying, I just can't risk them going to school asking their teachers if they want to go to the Fuck Shop after school.

8:48: Tape's rolling. Static emptiness in the beginning. If the tape doesn't work, this review is going to BLOW. Sorry.

8:49:30: This is actually more exciting than I had anticipated. The 2 Live Crew was a groundbreaking act -- that seems inarguable. So, I guess that makes this recording a bit of a historic relic? I'm like Nic Cage in National Treasure, except without the wispy hair. I wonder what the first thing they'll say will be? Maybe it'll something profound, something that historians missed because they disregarded the group en masse? Maybe it'll be something profound or life altering? MAYBE IT'LL BE THE CURE FOR CANCER OR SOMETHING ABOUT HOW TO SUCCESFULLY GROW CORN IN THE DESERT THUS SUCCESSFULLY ENDING WORLD HUNGER? WERE UNCLE LUKE AND FRESH KID ICE AG SCIENTISTS?!!! MAYBE IT'LL BE---

8:50: Oh. Never mind. It was a call and response with the crowd about how my mother and sister want some "head, booty, and cock" (an assertion that I'd instinctively argue against, even though I'm certain at some level he's right).

8:51: One of the immediate questions here is "Why would these guys bother to record a concert album in Phoenix?" Their popularity grew most resolutely in Florida, and they've always been fiercely defensive of Miami. Fortunately, this is not lost on the group. They answer it before they get into the actual show, and it is no great complexity: "Because Phoenix is too motherfucking live!," Luke shouts to the crowd.

8:54: "C'mon, Babe." This song is a bit of a rollercoaster. They'll say something sweet ("Love is the key to end all your woes"), then immediately yank the carpet out ("You'll be my bitch not a dirty hoe"). Is that a promotion, going from someone's dirty hoe to their bitch? Aces.

8:56: "Lick my ass up and down, lick it 'till your tongue turns doo-doo brown." Oh my.

8:57: Luke is referencing the Move Something girls, the women 2 Live Crew has on stage during their performances. Women's Suffrage worked, I guess?

8:58: "Pussy ain't nothin' but meat on the bones." How did The 2 Live Crew not have a line of greeting cards?

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