How 2 Live Crew is Responsible For Most Bad Southern Rap
So let's just say hypothetically that you had a blog, a lazy Sunday to kill, a package from Sampson Simpson eying you longingly and the burning desire to reenact the Box's video line-up from late 1992, where do you think you'd wind up? That's right. You'd watch yourself a little Bell Biv DeVoe, you'd watch yourself a little Snow, you might even watch yourself a little Scatman. But if you wanted to be faithful to the content booming out of Miami that year, you'd most certainly be watching 2 Live Crew. Perhaps the epic love-ballad "Me So Horny" or "Pop That Coochie." And ultimately, by the time the orgy of scantily clad video hos ended, you'd be certain of two things: that video ho's got exponentially hotter sometime starting in 1997 and that 2 Live Crew are directly responsible for the majority of bad Southern hip-hop.
You see prior to 2 Live Crew's entry in the rap world in the mid-1980s, rappers were expected to write coherent lyrics and be able to display fierce skills usually honed in MC battles and stage shows. Accordingly, the genre's biggest names were guys like Run DMC, BDP and LL Cool J, with a couple of novelty types thrown into the mix like The Beasties and The Fat Boys. But the success of 2 Live Crew proved that by pandering to the lowest common denominator and continually trying to top themselves with more and more profane lyrics, rappers could ride their lack of skills all the way to the bank. Have nothing to say? Who cares? Talk about "poppin' coochies" or how horny you are. Watch the public eat it up. (Gross imagery, unintended).
Granted, no one listens to groups like 2 Live Crew for the lyrics. No one ever has. No one ever will. But in the annals of rap history, few verses have ever been penned that you were more than inane from Fresh Kid Ice's Second Verse from "Me So Horny."
"It's true/you were a virgin until you met me/I was the first to make you hot and wetty-wetty/ You were your parents that we're goin' out/Never to the movies, just straight to my house/You said it yourself you like it like I do/Put Your your lips on my dick and suck my asshole too."
Yes. He actually used the phrase "wetty, wetty." And miraculously, it's one of the better verses on the record, a work that included: "Put Her in the Buck," "Dick Almighty," "The Fuck Shop," "If You Believe in Having Sex," and weirdly enough, "Reggae Joint." Of course, I'm aware it was supposed to be a joke. All in good fun. And you can't deny that songs like "Pop That Coochie" and "Me So Horny" are catchy-as-all-hell. But putting issues of misogyny aside, there still ain't nothing cool about a guy named Fresh Kid Ice bragging about how he likes rim jobs. Nothing. Besides, if I have to pick sides, I'm riding with Snoop and Dre in their beef against the Crew (see the Luke Skkywalker dart-board that was the "Dre Day" video.)
Ultimately, you kind of have to respect guys like 2 Live Crew. While, they certainly couldn't rap and they were certainly far from being lyrical masterminds, the dudes invented a new type of schtick and found a way to capitalize on it. Can't knock the hustle. But what you can knock is the talentless copy-cats that studied 2 Live Crew's blueprint and managed to shamelessly and humorlessly imitate them. With 2 Live Crew proving exactly how viable misogynistic shock-rap could be, it opened the floodgates for no talent crunktards like L'il Jon, The Ying Yang Twinz, & Dem Franchise Boyz to sell millions of records predicated on their belief that they too could "beat that pussy up." But the influence of 2 Live Crew hasn't been merely relegated to Atlanta Crunk-rap and Miami booty bass, as last year Baltimore hipster icon Spank Rock rode 2 Live Crew's formula to great success, essentially doing a note-for-note re-creation of As Nasty as I Wanna Be.
Thank You 2 Live Crew. For I Would Never Want to to Live in Ying Yang Twins-Less World.
All in all, 2 Live Crew weren't completely bad. Their songs hold up as fun, if not ridiculous party records, In that vein, they serve their purpose. But it's a little sad to think that as soon as studio executives picked up on 2 Live Crew's formula, it was only a matter of time before they'd start trying to find their own Dem Franchise Boyz', or Ying Yang Twinz, or L'il Jon's., all inspired directly by the Crew. Maybe you disagree. Maybe you think the Ying Yang Twinz are brilliant auteurs eloquently illustrating life in the south (Though, if that's the case, I would appreciate whatever it is that you're smoking...seriously, call me) But either way, I think all of us can agree on one thing. "Pop That Coochie" is a truly excellent video.