While reading our friends over at the Loop 21 I came across a couple of stories today that peaked my interests…one centers on Luke Skywalker aka Uncle Luke aka Luther Campbell founder of the infamous 2-Live Crew contemplating a run for Mayor of Miami-Dade County.
Yep you read that right, and as outlandish as it may sound given Luke’s music career, I wouldn’t immediately dismiss the idea. The Luke I known has long been civic-minded in terms of being strong advocate for folks to get involve and vote.. I recall he used to damn near make that mandatory if you worked for his label. He’d shut the office down and make folks go do their civic duty. In addition he’s best known for meddling in one key election that eventually landed him in hot water.
This goes all the way back to 1988 when Luke teamed up with a young artists named Anquette to do a James brown inspired song called Janet Reno. This is the same Janet Reno who is best known as US Attorney general under President Bill Clinton. At the time Reno was running for District Attorney when Luke released Anquette’s song. Reno who was locked in a tight race got major nice boost from this song that extolled her legal prowess to go after dead beat dads. Anquette rapped:
You think you’re so slick, that you won’t have to pay
You slay, get a baby, then run away
Oh, but I got a trick for your monkey ass
The boys that don’t pay get cased up fast
You ?answer to? Janet Reno and she lays the law
And when she’s through with you, you’ll wish you never saw
Me or the baby or the place where we met
Digging up old gold that you wish you could forget
The proof is here, it’s livin and breathin
And Janet Reno’s makin sure that I start receivin
All the money you get, all the checks you make
Janet Reno will make sure and TAKE
*singing to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”*
Janet Reno comes to town collecting all the money
You stayed one day, then ran away, and started actin funny
She caught you down on 15th Ave., you tried to hide your trail
She found your ass and locked you up, now WHO can post no bail?
The song helped Reno win the election which in turn angered her opponent a lawyer by the name of Jack Thompson. Thompson sought revenge on Campbell and launched a campaign where he pressured officials throughout the state including Governor Bob Martinez and Broward County sheriff Nick Navarro to go after the 2 live Crew for violating state obscenity laws. Eventually Navarro won a ruling that deemed the group’s album As Nasty As They Wanna Be as obscene. Thats how and why 2 Live Crew had all that drama over free speech which went all the way to the US Supreme Court. It was his political activities not his song being so over the top. What’s ironic is that the Janet Reno song had some raunchy lyrics. It was enough that they had to release a radio edit…
What’s even more ironic is that Luke himself was arrested two years ago for being deliquent on child support payments. He owed over 10Gs.. To his credit Luke said he’s willing to address all the controversies he’s been involved in.
With all that being said, will Uncle Luke make a good Mayor and can he even win? Well for starters Luke has promised to make his office one that his transparent like a reality show. Thats in response to the recall efforts that are underway to get rid of the current Mayor Carlos Alverez. Folks are upset because he was giving out secret raises while the county is in a major recession. He also had some shady dealings with the Florida Marlins.
Luke told the Miami New Times:
Cameras are going to capture when some lobbyist comes to see me to lobby me on some shit they want approved. The cameras are going to be rolling when a commissioner meets with me when I want to talk about the things we need to build for this community. The voters are going to know who is full of shit and who isn’t if I am elected mayor.
On the campaign trail, people are going to learn about the more mature Luther Campbell, the grown man who is working for the kids in the inner city and who is dropping knowledge every week with his own column in the New Times. With Rick Scott winning the governor’s seat, I don’t see how I could lose. I’ve been a successful businessman in this community for years. I was born and raised in Miami-Dade. No one can question the love I have for my home county.
I feel it’s time to clean this shit up. Our community has been divided for too long. If there is one person who can unite voters from every nationality in Miami-Dade, it is Uncle Luke. I can relate to young and old people from Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, and even Israel. We need to start thinking about the future of Miami-Dade. We’ve need to change the status quo. Nothing is getting done.
Time will tell if this is just a big ole publicity stunt or if Luke is in this for real… It will also be interesting to see if Luke is his own man or if he somehow becomes beholden to the billionaire Norman Braman who sponsored the recall. Hey if Arnold Schwarzenegger can become governor off a recall why can’t Luke be mayor.. After experiencing the mess Arnold caused, Luke can’t be that bad..