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 -- passionately supporting their freedom of speech on the one hand, but often finding little artistic merit in their music on the other. And they were indeed crude and coarse, and frequently misogynistic by most standards; even if they fit squarely into a tradition of raunchy, sexually explicit Black comedy (Redd Foxx, Rudy Ray Moore, Blowfly, etc.), ...
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