The 2 Live Crew isn't quite as nasty as it used to be


October 08, 1991|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

Let's be honest now. Upon hearing that the 2 Live Crew has finally released its sequel to "As Nasty As They Wanna Be," the first question that popped into your mind wasn't, "How good or bad is it?" No, what you really want to know is, "How nasty is it?"

Not to worry -- it's perfectly natural to be curious about such things. "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" is the first and only album ever to have been banned as obscene in the United States. Furthermore, 2 Live Crew promised that its next album would be even filthier than the last.

So of course you'd want the latest dirt on the latest dirt.

But before rushing out to pick up a copy of "Sports Weekend (As Nasty As They Wanna Be Part II)" (Luke 91720), or even its PG-rated brother, "Sports Weekend (As Clean As They Wanna Be, Part II)" (Luke 91797, both arriving in record stores today), be warned: The 2 Live Crew doesn't wanna be as nasty as it used to.

Shocked? Don't be. It's not as if the Crew has renounced sex or anything. In fact, the bulk of "Sports Weekend" -- in either version -- concerns itself with doing the nasty, with various numbers devoted to such subjects as oral sex, the advantages of ugly women in bed, and the like. As for the song titles, well . . . let's just say that "Some Hot Head" is not about an angry neighbor.

(Forget the "clean" version, by the way. Not only does it offer less music -- 13 minutes less -- for the same price, but it's hard to see what advantage "Ugly as

&#" has over the version that spells out the obscenity, since the meaning is obvious in either case.)

Even so, "Sports Weekend" is tame stuff compared to N.W.A.'s "Efil4zaggin" or the Geto Boys' self-titled album. Sure, it's foul-mouthed, gutter-minded, sexist and crude, but it isn't violent or vile the way those others are, much less as misogynous. Hell, there's even an AIDS awareness number.

It's not even as nasty as "Nasty," since nothing on this album goes to the extremes of "Put Her in the Buck." Instead, it depends mostly on the sort of racy "party music" raps the 2 Live Crew made before it got so infamous, all of them backed by an urgent, Miami-style electrobeat.

Some, like "Fraternity Joint" or "I Like It, I Love It," are simple call-and-response numbers intended only to get the listeners chanting along. It may not be not good clean fun -- "I Like It, I Love It," for instance, begins by asking the question, "Now, how many ladies out there like havin' sex?" -- but neither is it a threat to common decency.

But then, did anybody really expect it to be? As the media circus surrounding the group's obscenity trial should have shown, the 2 Live Crew is really are no more menacing than a dirty joke. And though "Sports Weekend" won't be every listener's idea of a laugh, its audio nasties are nothing to get in a lather about.

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