As Nasty as They Wanna Be

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As Nasty as They Wanna Be
As Nasty As They Wanna Be cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 7, 1989 (1989-02-07)[1]
Producer2 Live Crew
2 Live Crew chronology
Move Somethin'
As Nasty as They Wanna Be
Banned in the U.S.A.
Singles from As Nasty as They Wanna Be
  1. "Me So Horny"
    Released: January 20, 1989
  2. "C'mon Babe"
    Released: February 15, 1989
  3. "The Fuck Shop"
    Released: 1990
  4. "Coolin'"
    Released: 1990 (UK only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauC[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[4]

As Nasty as They Wanna Be is the third album by Miami bass group 2 Live Crew. It was released on February 7, 1989 and became the group's largest seller, being certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 1990, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled that the album was legally obscene;[5] this ruling was later overturned by the Eleventh Circuit.[6] It is the first album in history to be deemed legally obscene.[7]

It would also be the final album to be released under the Skyywalker Records label. Following a successful lawsuit against Luther Campbell and Skyywalker Records by Star Wars creator and director George Lucas, the company was forced to change its name to Luke Records.

The album is broken down track-by-track by Luke and Mr. Mixx in Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique.[8]

In 2010, the album cover and imagery of the record were used in the music video of the song "The Rabbit" by Swedish band Miike Snow.

Obscenity trial[edit]

Parental Advisory sticker used in later releases of As Nasty as They Wanna Be

Federal district judge Jose Gonzalez ruled that the album was obscene, making it illegal in certain counties of Florida. Subsequently, on June 9, 1990, three band members were arrested, and their album seized, when they performed some tracks at a local sex club, in Broward County, Florida. In the "media circus"[9] attendant on these events, only the Washington City Paper, Tipper Gore's Parents Music Resource Center and The Nation magazine published the offending lyrics. Christopher Hitchens, in a column on the last of these, citing the admonition on the cover of the album—"If you don't like the record, you can kiss our mother fuckin' ass"—commented,

Precisely. It's obvious to this reviewer that the Crew should be left alone, and that their foulmouthed attitude toward the gentler sex is a good-sounding excuse for a youth-hating and surreptitiously bigoted prosecution. I don't know the private thoughts of Sheriff Nick Navarro of Broward County, but I doubt they are worth a rat's behind and see no reason why he should sublimate his own vagina-dreading disorders in this expensive and undemocratic fashion. The same applies to the preposterous Judge Jose Gonzalez Jr., who in ruling on Sheriff Navarro's raid opined that the music appeals to "the loins, not to the intellect." In fact, I think they are a pair of racist shitheads who should be told to fuck right off.[10]

During the 1990 Sound+Vision Tour in Philadelphia David Bowie stopped his performance in the middle of the song "Young Americans" to speak out against music censorship, specifically due to the controversy over 2 Live Crew's album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, saying "I've been listening to the album by 2 Live Crew. It's not the best album that's ever been made, but when I heard they banned it, I went out and bought it. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech – it's one of the most important things we have."[11]

An obscenity trial followed, in which Henry Louis Gates, Jr., addressed the court on behalf of the defendants, all of whom were eventually acquitted.

Track listing[edit]

As Nasty as They Wanna Be track listing
1."Me So Horny"
2."Put Her in the Buck"
3."Dick Almighty"
4."C'mon Babe" 4:43
5."Dirty Nursery Rhymes"
6."Break It on Down" (Campbell/Two Live Crew) 3:59
7."2 Live Blues"
8."I Ain't Bullshittin'"
9."Get Loose Now" (Campbell/Two Live Crew)4:36
10."The Fuck Shop"
11."If You Believe in Having Sex" 3:51
12."My Seven Bizzos"4:18
13."Get the Fuck out of My House"4:37
14."Reggae Joint" (satire of dancehall music)
15."Fraternity Record"
16."Bad Ass Bitch" 4:03
17."Mega Mixx III"
  • Largely instrumental; contains a sample of an electronic voice counting in German from the Kraftwerk song "Numbers/Computer World"
18."Coolin'" (Campbell/Two Live Crew)


  • The album cover can be found on the wall of the music store in the comedy film, Next Friday.
  • As Nasty as They Wanna Be is the first ever Southern rap album to go platinum and the only one from the 1980s.
  • In the liner notes, the group thanks Chris Jurewicz, who at the time was a 10-year-old who wrote the group a fan letter. He grew up to be Chris Jay, the lead singer of the rock band, Army of Freshmen.
  • The German CD omitted tracks 17 and 18 due to "capacity reasons". The length was 68:55 mins.
  • "The Fuck Shop" contains a lyrical public service announcement reminding people to clean their genitals after sex.


  • 2 Live Crew – producer
  • Jimmy Magnoli – guitar
  • Mr. Mixx – vocals, producer, performer, mixing
  • Ted Stein – engineer, mixing
  • Ron Taylor – engineer, mixing
  • Chris Murphy – engineer

As Clean as They Wanna Be[edit]

As Clean as They Wanna Be
Ascleanastheywannabe cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 15, 1989 (1989-06-15)
GenreMiami bass
2 Live Crew chronology
Move Somethin'
As Clean as They Wanna Be
Banned in the U.S.A.
Professional ratings
Review scores

As Clean as They Wanna Be is the clean version of 2 Live Crew's third album. The album contains a disclaimer that "This album does not contain explicit lyrics". The album had notably worse sales than the explicit version. However, it does contain "Pretty Woman", which is not on the explicit version. The song – a parody of the Roy Orbison hit "Oh, Pretty Woman" – resulted in a Supreme Court case, Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., which established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use. Despite the sticker on the album cover claiming "This album does not contain explicit lyrics", the song "Break It on Down" appears in its original, explicit form. Additionally, the song "City of Boom" (which is exclusive to the clean version) contains several explicit lyrics.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by 2 Live Crew.

As Clean as They Wanna Be track listing
1."The Funk Shop"3:23
2."C'mon Babe"4:19
3."Get Loose Now"4:36
5."You Got Larceny"4:57
6."Me So Horny"4:25
7."Pretty Woman" (parody of "Oh, Pretty Woman", written by Roy Orbison and Bill Dees)3:20
8."My Seven Bizzos"4:18
9."City of Boom"3:32
10."Mega Mix III"5:44
11."Break It on Down"3:58


  • Mr. Mixx – vocals, producer, mixing
  • Ted Stein – engineer, mixing
  • Ron Taylor – engineer, mixing
  • Milton Mizell – coordination
  • Linda Fine – coordination
  • Mac Hartshorn – photography
  • Mike Holland, aka Mike Bizzo – H.N.I.C.
  • Luther Campbell – producer, executive producer
  • Nic Stone, aka Spoon 56 – Mocha Thunder Generation
  • Debbie Bennett – coordination
  • Mike Fuller – mastering



Certifications for As Nasty as They Wanna Be
Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Platinum 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  • Hitchens, Christopher. "Minority Report." The Nation, July 30, 1990: 120.
  • MacInnes, Paul. "The 2 Live Crew are arrested." The Guardian. June 13, 2011. (accessed June 9, 2012).
  1. ^ Billy Johnson, Jr. (February 7, 2014). "7 Ways the World Went Crazy With 'As Nasty As They Wanna Be'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  2. ^ Jeffries, David (September 16, 2018). "As Nasty as They Wanna Be- 2 Live Crew". AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "2 Live Crew Reviews". Robert Christgau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  4. ^ Cross, Charles R. (2004). "2 Live Crew". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 829-30. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ Skyywalker Records, Inc. v. Navarro, 739 F.Supp. 578 (S.D. Fla. 1990).
  6. ^ Luke Records, Inc. v. Navarro, 960 F.2d 134 (11th Cir. 1992).
  7. ^ Deflem, Mathieu. 2020. "Popular Culture and Social Control: The Moral Panic on Music Labeling." American Journal of Criminal Justice 45(1):2-24 (First published online July 24, 2019).
  8. ^ Coleman, Brian, 2007, Check the Technique: Liner Notes for Hip-Hop Junkies, Villard/Random House.
  9. ^ MacInnes 2011.
  10. ^ Hitchens 1990.
  11. ^ "People in the news", Times News Service, 14 July 1990
  12. ^ Jeffries, David (September 16, 2018). "As Clean as They Wanna Be- 2 Live Crew". AllMusic. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  13. ^ " – The 2 Live Crew – As Nasty as They Wanna Be" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 19, 2022.
  14. ^ "The 2 Live Crew, TLP". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  15. ^ "The 2 Live Crew, BLP". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  16. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1989". Billboard. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  17. ^ "American album certifications – 2 Live Crew – As Nasty As They Wanna Be". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 18, 2021.

External links[edit]