2 Live Crew’s ‘As Nasty as They Wanna Be’ (Tomtit Music Reviews 17)

And they wanna be really nasty

J.P. Williams
2 min readFeb 26, 2023
Illustration by author.

Contraband in rural Iowa! Copies of 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty as They Wanna Be (Luke Records, 1989) were surreptitiously passed around on the school bus when I was a kid, because it had been the subject of an obscenity trial. We were potty-mouthed and didn’t need to be told that the samples in “Me So Horny” came from the prostitute in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, because we could quote a lot of that movie line for line. The language throughout the album is awful, and the attitude toward women is the worst of it, but the music has that old style I’ve never outgrown and the group has a way with samples. The Crew mashes hip-hop and rock excellently on “The Fuck Shop,” which ropes in Guns N’ Roses and Van Halen. Then there’s clips of Eddie Murphy and Cheech and Chong, in addition to apparent inspiration from Andrew Dice Clay’s dirty nursery rimes. It’s a wonder any of us grew up right.

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