2 Live Crew, As Nasty As They Wanna Be

Christopher R. Weingarten

By Christopher R. Weingarten

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

As Nasty As They Wanna Be

2 Live Crew

This album is so notorious that even the Supreme Court gave it props. As Nasty As They Wanna Be is the standard-bearer for music that treats the moral fabric of America like a clean-up rag. More than just woofer-destroying 808s, mystifying amounts of misogyny and swear words that rhyme, Nasty is 18 reckless experiments that turn every hip-hop microtrend circa 1989 into a delirious locker-room goof. The legitimate pop hit "Me So Horny" overshadows the real silliness going on. There's a hip-house parody ("Get the Fuck Out of My House"), a naughty go-go stomper ("Bad Ass Bitch"), some Jamaica-baiting reggae-rap ("Reggae Joint"), some truly inexplicable no-bar blues (the gloriously tuneless "2 Live Blues") and even a dance number for the brothers with the funny haircuts ("Get Loose Now"). The dour robots in Kraftwerk probably broke into a hearty human laugh when they found out they were the backbone for a song called "Dick Almighty." Nasty was the big bang (or big boom as it were) for the Dirty South, predating crunk's hard-rock affinity by irresponsibly lifting riffs from Eddie, Jimi, Slash and, um, whoever the guy from Nazareth was… 2 Live Crew even use the word "skeet" on record 15 years before Dave Chappelle told white people what it meant!