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Move Somethin'

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Album Review

Although the 2 Live Crew's debut album, 2 Live Is What We Are, went gold and sold more than 500,000 copies in the U.S., the LP wasn't without its detractors. Some New York hip-hoppers argued that Luther Campbell and his associates were pandering to the lowest common denominator, and everyone from church groups to feminists argued that their X-rated booty rhymes were nothing more than pornography with a beat. But the Crew's fans didn't care what their critics had to say, which is why their second album, Move Somthin', was also a big seller. Anyone who found 2 Live Is What We Are offensive was unlikely to be converted by Move Somthin'; booty rhymes like "HBC," "One and One" (an X-rated interpretation of the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night") and "S&M" are as crude and sexually explicit as anything on the group's previous album. "S&M," as its title indicates, is an ode to kinky sex. The 2 Live Crew was hardly the first group to address the subject of bondage and sado-masochism — back in 1967, the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" was among the kinkier rock songs of its day. Some of the Ohio Players' pre-Mercury album covers employed S&M/bondage imagery, and the 1980s heavy metal band Bitch had a female lead vocalist who loved to sing about the pleasures of being a whip-toting dominatrix. But kinky sex hasn't been a prominent subject in hip-hop, and "S&M" is unusually kinky for rap. Of course, the Crew didn't need to rap about whips and chains to offend people; even without "S&M," this LP would have been X-rated. Move Somthin' was trashed by the Crew's critics, but those who aren't offended by X-rated humor will find it to be a thoroughly entertaining sophomore effort.


Formed: 1985 in California

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

No rap group (save, perhaps, N.W.A) has stirred more controversy or provoked more heated debate than the 2 Live Crew. The furor over the graphic sexual content of their X-rated party rhymes — specifically their 1989 album As Nasty as They Wanna Be — was a major catalyst in making rap music a flash point for controversy and an easily visible target for self-appointed moral guardians. The fierce attacks on the group's First Amendment rights put many of their defenders in an awkward position...
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Move Somethin', 2 Live Crew
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