"We have the record for the most cuss words on an album," says Brother Marquis of Miami's 2 Live Crew, "It's like 375 cuss words on As Nasty As They Wanna Be."
Legendary Brother Marquis and Fresh Kid Ice, the first southern rappers to go platinum, hit up Halifax for the first time at The Red Fox on Friday. Like to get down? Don't miss this.
There is no doubt that 2 Live Crew is one of the most controversial rap groups in hip-hop history. With its overt sexual themes and number one Billboard hit, "Me So Horny," 1989's Nasty caused so much ruckus in the US that it was deemed legally obscene and criminal to sell.
"We went all the way to the Supreme Court and won the ruling. We were the reason for Explicit Lyrics stickers on albums," says Marquis, "I was inspired because, at the time, nobody else was doing this. Everyone was all, 'Throw your hands in the air,' and we were like, 'Pull your pants down, show us your derriere. Throw down some straight-up sex.'"
The censorship only increased 2 Live's popularity and the influence was enduring.
"After us, rappers took the concept that you can have freedom of speech, that you are protected by the First Amendment, and ran with it. Now you can do what you want. There's no shock value anymore, we seen and heard it all," he says. But 2 Live continues to push it.
"It's an accomplishment we're still together after 25 years," says Fresh Kid Ice (AKA The Chinaman), celebrating with the Twerk It to the East Coast tour and a new album very soon.
"Even though hip-hop is considered pop music now, we still like to be considered underground, and our new songs really challenged us," says Fresh Kid.
"Some people say that anyone can get on a record and just cuss and la la la, it's not really art," says Marquis, "But it is art to me. We made that statement at the beginning of our career. That was our style and our music."
2 Live Crew w/Dizzy, Cash Dough, Baseline, REAL EYES, Aldean Alliston, MICK D
Friday, September 14 at 10pm, $20/$25
The Red Fox Tavern, 7071 Bayers Road