Former 2 Live Crew rap artist runs for Miami-Dade mayor

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Ex-2 Live Crew rapper Luther “Luke” Campbell is running for office, reports the Palm Beach Post.

“I’m a changed man!” Campbell said at a Little Havana restaurant after his campaign volunteer suggested announcing to the customers that a candidate for Miami-Dade County mayor was in their presence.

Even if Campbell has made a personal transformation since his rap artist days, he has a tough reputation to get beat. The former singer is best known for making scandalous rap albums, which were pioneers of the parental advisory sticker movement. Additionally, he made R- and X-rated videos. Campbell fought legal battles defending freedom of speech, including a U.S. Supreme Court win that secured an artist’s right to parody others’ work. According to Entertainment Weekly, the hip hop band’s album, “As Nasty as They Wanna Be” was the first musical recording labeled obscene by a U.S. court. Broward County Sheriff Nick Navarro threatened to arrest area record vendors for selling the CD, resulting in the arrest of Charles Freeman, a Fort Lauderdale record-store owner.

But Campbell asserts that he’s different now. “I’m dead serious. Are you?” read Campbell’s election fliers.

But the 80s and 90s rapper won’t run his campaign on his eyebrow-raising music career. According to the Post, Campbell’s campaign is founded on decades of community activity and involvement in his hometown, and he would like voters to view him as a fellow frustrated taxpayer, among other things.

Campbell’s plans include imposing a license fee to dance in strip clubs to gain revenue. The former rapper also says he is committed to a model of government transparency.

“The people here locally, they know me as a community servant. They know me as a disciplinarian, versus people outside of this community,” Campbell said. “They’ll tell you, ‘He don’t play about his community.'”

Campbell is among 11 other candidates running in the May 24 special election to oust Carlos Alvarez, who was recently booted in a recall. The celebrity, who occasionally pops in at clubs, doesn’t perform regularly anymore and says he will have somebody else manage his record label if he assumes position as mayor.

Laura Donovan