You may know Luke Campbell as Uncle Luke, leader of the 2 Live Crew. You may know him as the man who created the parental-advisory label for explicit content on CDs. You may know him as the man who fought an obscenity charge all the way up to the Supreme Court…and won. Hell, you may just know him as the man who coined the phrase, “Pop that p****.”
But you probably don’t know him as a businessman and you definitely don’t know him as a father. All that will change next week when his reality show, Luke’s Parental Advisory debuts Aug. 4 at 10:30/9:30c on VH1. The show finds him juggling an adult-entertainment empire, a fiancée and two teenagers. We’ll have more on the show itself next week, but for the first part of our interview with Luke, we look back on his career with him. He and the 2 Live Crew have been accused of misogyny and homophobia throughout the years. Below, Luke answers those claims and explains the greater purpose of the art that made him a household name.
I hit puberty around when 2 Live Crew blew up, so you had a major part in my sexual education, Luke.
(Laughs) I hear that all the time.
There’s a discussion that you have on the show, in which you say to your daughter, “Girls who more than one guy get labeled a slut.” I know that that’s the way things are, but is it the way things should be?
That’s a good question. That’s the way it is. Is that the way it should be? To each his own. Some guys like girls who like a lot of people. Some people like being called a bitch and some people have a problem with it. Some girls find it entertaining calling each other sluts. And you can turn that question back around on guys: if he dates multiple girls, should he be called a slut? How you carry yourself in this world, unfortunately, is how you get labeled. That’s just the way it is: you get labeled.
Speaking of labels, you and the 2 Live Crew have been called misogynists. Are you?
I never thought so. What we did was entertainment. If people really take a look at what 2 Live Crew really did, it was more comedy than anything. The songs we did and what we sampled was more in the vein of Leroy and Skillet, Dolemite and Red Foxx. But just like with anything, people can take things out of context and put their own spin on what it is. That’s the beautiful part of this country, you have freedom of choice. You have the right to think that what’s going on in a particular song is misogyny. But there was no intent there. I can only speak for myself, but when I went into the booth for a 2 Live Crew track or one of my own tracks, I never intended to degrade anybody or hurt anybody’s feelings or talk bad about any race, set of girls or whatever it may be. We were having fun. We made jokes.
What about the anti-gay stuff? Do you stand by that?
No. I don’t stand by nothing that hurts anybody’s feelings. I have gay friends and they’re cool people. I’m not gay, but if that’s their thing, it doesn’t mean I have a problem with them. A different sexual preference doesn’t give anyone the right to talk bad about them. I’m a straight-shooter. I’ve made comments in a joking way about a lot of different people, and I’ve said some stupid things. I think you ain’t no man if you can’t admit that you’ve said and did some stupid things in the past.
The 2 Live Crew’s work and your solo stuff has been dubbed “porno rap.” Did you agree with that label, and if so, was the aim to turn people on with music the way porn does with images?
It always to me was adult entertainment, not necessarily porno rap. That’s the first time I ever heard that. But it’s adult entertainment when you enter the realm of cursing and talking about all kinds of sex that adults can relate to. Whether it’s speaking or viewing, it’s adult entertainment. The idea, though, was more to say s*** that people had on their minds. The average person would be thinking, “Wow, I’m horny,” but putting, “Me so horny” in the context of a song was saying stuff out loud that most people just said in private. That’s just my personality. When you see the show, you’ll see that that’s my personality on a regular basis. That’s my entire family’s personality. As a family, we say s*** that most people want to say but are too scared to do.
I always thought it was really progressive, the way you guys were so open about enjoying getting your asses eaten, for example.
That’s what I’m saying! We were saying s*** that people were thinking about. We’d go in the studio with a bottle of liquor and have a big-ass party with a microphone on. When you’ve got a person who already says what he wants to say, you get liquor involved and you go to a whole new level. People, I think, liked the honesty. You know, when we did the song, “We Want Some P****,” we had people screaming along. We wanted to give people a release. All of my songs were chant songs. Just give ‘em a release, where they can just say s***, scream out, “Hey, we want some p****!” or “Me so horny!” We allowed people to say what they wanted to say.
Check back next week for more of our chat with Luke.