Review Summary: The album that made it safe to embrace the most primal and misogynistic aspects of hip hop.
The madness starts with a Vietnamese hooker. The opening sequence to “Me So Horny,” one of the most iconic jams in hip hop history, lays an effective case study of what the 2 Live Crew were all about; ripping off other artists, and plowing through miles of vertical smiles. The quintessential exchange seen in the intro is lifted from Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket,” with the aforementioned trick informing solider Matthew Modine that for the low price of ten dollars, he can in fact have “evwereyting he wants.” As Modine undoubtedly goes through a cost benefit analysis of mind blowing, disgusting sexual acts vs. the ramifications of the Clap, Luther Campbell and company lead us through 4 minutes of the most misogynistic, arrogant, abhorrently filthy, chest beating, knuckle dragging hip hop in recorded history. And for the lack of a better term, it is unequivocally awesome.
The 2 Live Crew’s “As Nasty as They Want to Be” is a watershed album in hip hop history. It stands to this day as arguably the dirtiest record ever laid to tape, or at least one that millions of kids heard. What made it relevant, aside from the fact it contains enormously catchy beats and rhymes (albeit stolen for the most part), is it was for a period of time declared “legally obscene.” In their infinite wisdom, the state of Florida made the act of selling this album an arrest-able offense, an enormously controversial measure that exploded in their faces like a Luther Campbell facial once they realized people will automatically defy the norm and acquire anything they are told they cannot have (the “banned” album moved 2 million copies), and furthermore once they encumbered the backhand of the United States Supreme Court. One could argue that Luther Campbell, for all of his tongue lagging machismo and unadulterated embracement of all things Neanderthal, was a genius, and that person would be correct.
The redeeming aspects of “As Nasty As They Want To Be” go far beyond the Sophomoric, campy, and entirely hilarious platitudes that encompass the sheer FILTH of the album. While it is certainly awesome to pump your fists to the chorus of “The F*ck Shop,” it’s even cooler to play air guitar to the rip-off of Van Halen’s “Aint Talkin Bout Love” while mimicking the cathouse rhymes of the song. While an informed 70’s funk elitist might admonish the usage of The Chakachas' “Jungle Fever” in the lyrically toxic yet engaging “Put Her in the Buck,” anyone with red blood cells and a sense of humor will find this track irresistible. The same can be said for the majority of this opus, samples from Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Guns n Roses, Kraftwerk, The Beastie Boys, and Andrew Dice Clay supply an engaging backbone for boastful songs like “Dick Almighty” and “Get the F*ck Out of My House, B*tch,” the rapier wit of “Dirty Nursery Rhymes,” and the irresistible chants of “If You Believe In Having Sex.” At every turn is a memorable hook or sinfully disgusting line, both of which are immediately stored in the listener’s memory bank for important usages later.
Clocking in at 79 minutes and rarely wasting an opportunity to illegally lift from other artists while simultaneously laying down a clinic of deliciously untactful storylines, “As Nasty As They Want To Be” grabs more than your balls for this ride. It grabs every part of the human anatomy described in the songs. It might hurt a little at first, but just like your first girlfriend, you eventually give in. One could make the argument that this album moved 2 million unites simply due to the giant middle finger of the general public to censorship, but it is also highly conducive to the overall execution of the music. Whether using it for setting a certain mood, bro camaraderie, road tripping, or simply hammering a few back, “As Nasty As They Want to Be” is essential hip hop fare. Although it isn’t as edgy or dangerous to buy this now, you should unquestionably do so, today.
Me So Horny
Put Her in the Buck
Dirty Nursery Rhymes
If You Believe in Having Sex
Get the F*ck Out of My House, B*tch
My Seven Bizzos