The Hot Seat: Luther Campbell
Less horny, more money.
Tue Jul 22 2008
Illustration: Rob Kelly
In VH1's aptly named new reality series Parental Advisory—the latest in the network's seemingly endless parade of shows about the personal lives of pop-culture icons—we find out that the star, Luther Campbell (a.k.a. Luke Skyywalker, Uncle Luke), is much more than just the sex-obsessed mastermind behind 2 Live Crew's controversial 1989 hit "Me So Horny." Now 47 and engaged to be married for the first time, he runs Luke Entertainment Group, a publicly traded company that specializes in racy videos and party-planning services. The former courtroom regular (who has fought against charges of copyright infringement and obscenity) called us from his home in Florida a few days before his wedding.
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Time Out New York: Can the guy who wrote "Me So Horny" really be getting married?
Luther Campbell: Yeah. I can't believe it. It's going to put a lot of pressure on other men because their women are going to be like, "Yo, how in the world can Uncle Luke get married and you can't marry me?" You're going to have an epidemic rate of people getting engaged. The jewelry shops of the world—I just want them to send me 2 percent of the engagement-ring sales.
TONY: What does your bride-to-be think of your 2 Live Crew days?
Luther Campbell: She knows everything I do is for entertainment. The whole idea of 2 Live Crew was to be funny. Even when I did the song "Face Down, Ass Up," that's just me saying what everybody else wants to say: "Face down, ass up/That's the way we like to fuck!" I think everybody would enjoy that, whether you were straight or gay.
TONY: So you were just speaking for horndogs everywhere?
Luther Campbell: Yeah. I mean, with "Me So Horny," guys could put the song on and then not even have to say nothing. All the guy's gotta do is put his hand on her leg. Then it's like, "Oh, I feel the same way." Or he might get called a fucking pervert.
TONY: Not everyone appreciated your lyrics, of course. Did you ever imagine they'd land you in court?
Luther Campbell: In my wildest dreams I never thought that. While all that was going on, I would be saying, "Why they fucking with me? They got Andrew Dice Clay out there. And Schwarzenegger killing and shooting." But then I looked at the country. A lot of people had a problem with rap music getting in the hands of white kids.
TONY: But some of your lyrics were pretty obscene.
Luther Campbell: I think they had a right to be concerned about the kids. I will not defend selling an explicit-lyrics record to a kid. But some of them went a little too overboard. When they started attacking free speech, then that's when it became a serious problem.
TONY: In one episode of Parental Advisory, you are informed that you fathered a child a few years back. Does that happen to you often?
Luther Campbell: No, that's not a common occurrence. I'm not loose like that. When I was hot, though, everybody wanted me to be their baby daddy. I spent a lot of time down at the University of Miami DNA clinic swabbing people so the results can say no, no, no. If anybody came to me and say that's my kid, I would take 'em down there and swab 'em.
TONY: I see that Luke Entertainment Group is publicly traded on the Pink Sheets. I'm not sure if you noticed, but it's trading at a penny.
Luther Campbell: You gotta start off at the bottom. I'm at the bottom. Hopefully it'll build up. Let me tell you, just like everything... [To fiance] Hey, sweetheart! There's a lot of money up under here. There's a lot of money up under the bed. Goddamn!
TONY: What's going on?
Luther Campbell: I just found a lot of money up here under this bed while I'm sitting here. I like talking to you! I make money! [Pause] The thing is, with the company, I know it's gonna be a struggle because, hey, the people who buy hip-hop music ain't necessarily buying stock on Wall Street. But if I can go get half the kids who bought a million Lil Wayne albums to buy some stock, I just did some major shit.
TONY: Why should I buy your stock?
Luther Campbell: I can't technically answer that, because then the SEC will get me. If I tell you to buy stock, that's illegal. I'll be Martha Stewart and you'll be doing the next article at the hotel down there. The white-collar hotel. [Loudly] Mo' money, hold on! Damn near a couple grand! I'm serious, man.
TONY: Why didn't you put that money in the bank?
Luther Campbell: What money? [Laughs]
Parental Advisory premieres Aug 4 at 10:30pm on VH1.