Book 2 Live Crew
2 Live Crew was created by David “Treach DJ Mr. Mixx” Hobbs in Riverside, California, with fellow rappers Chris (Fresh Kid Ice) Wongwon, and Yuri (“Amazing Vee”) Vielot. The three met at March AFB Riverside, CA, as they were enlisted in the Air Force. Along with giving local parties on and off base, they recorded their first singles through Macola Records Distribution in Los Angeles, CA. They released “Revelation” in 1984; the single sold well in Florida, encouraging the group to release “What I Like.” In 1986, due to the popularity of the new single “Throw the Dick,” the group, including new member Mark “Brother Marquis” Ross replacing Amazing Vee due to military commitments, relocated to Miami and teamed up with Ghetto Style DJ’s and soon to be manager and eventual performer Luther Campbell, who used the nickname “Luke Skyywalker” (and was subsequently sued by George Lucas).
“Throw the Dick,” with its fast dance tempo, turntable scratching explicit phrases from comedy albums, stuttering voice samples, and the Roland TR-808 drum machine brought a new sound to the group, penned as The Miami Bass Sound. David “Treach DJ Mr. Mixx” Hobbs was credited with the production.
The year 1987 saw the release of The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are, featuring profane and sexually graphic lyrics. Rudy Ray Moore’s comedy albums and other XXX assorted comedy albums provided the material for most of the explicit samples that “Mr. Mixx” used. The album was produced by Mr. Mixx. Bob Rosenberg, a south Florida DJ who would later form the dance-pop group Will to Power, remixed and edited the song “Beat Box”. The record went gold. Though the controversy did not rise to the levels the group would reach in the future, a Florida store clerk was charged and acquitted of felony charges for selling the album to a fourteen-year-old girl in 1987.
Campbell decided to sell a separate clean version in addition to the explicit version of the next album, Move Somethin’ (1988), produced by Mr. Mixx. A record store clerk in Alexander City, Alabama was cited for selling a copy to an undercover police officer in 1988. It was the first time in the United States that a record store owner was held liable for obscenity over music. The charges were dropped after a jury found the record store not guilty.