The Tom Joyner Morning Show talks to veteran rapper Luther Campbell about how he invented southern hip-hop saved the First Amendment, and became a role model for his Miami neighborhood in his new book, The Book of Luke, My Fight For Truth , Justice and Liberty City. The controversial rapper/activist/philanthropist (yup!) talks about his life and how he managed to go from Liberty City to a successful entrepreneur in the dawn of the hip-hop era.
“Back then everybody was excited about major record labels and I had to explain to those guys that there is a difference between owning your own label and being a solo artist, then going to the Supreme Court to fight for parody and free speech got them going today,” Luke says.
Luke says that his father and uncles shaped his mindset about business and life.
“The effect that my great uncle Ricky and my dad had on me at a very young age – they used to talk to me about the the Marcus Garveys and the H. Rap Browns and they kind of explained to me way back then about the Martin Luther King’s and the Malcolm X’s how society treats African-Americans and if you ever get into a situation you give back to your community and you do the right thing. You’ve got to be a man about it and if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Aside from his business savvy and community activism, Luke’s book also incorporates the history of the Black neighborhoods in Miami and how the construction of I-95 literally cut through the Black community. He says a similar situation is now happening in the Black communities as gentrification is now impacting them as well.
“They don’t know that the expressway ruined the African-American community,” says Campbell. “Overtown is where all that prime property is and they’ve been trying to displace those people for years. Its’ the same as Liberty City. The Pork and Bean project is called that because white people said Blacks could only afford pork and beans. I think that its’ important to know that history. I am the creator of hip-hop in the South. People don’t know that.”
Luke, who’s been an active personality in the years since his rap heyday with the 2 Live Crew, says there may be a movie made going forward about his life.
“I do feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of the hip-hop industry,” says Luke. “We went to the Supreme Court after my records were declared obscene by a federal judge and then to jail because I felt that I’m going to jail to fight for the right to sing the songs.”
Luke says he was then invited to the Grammys as part of a segment on censorship. During that telecast, the Grammys honored Madonna instead of Luke, who fought all the way to the Supreme Court.
“I’ve never been back to the Grammys since,” he said.
Click the link above to hear the entire interview.
(Photo Source: Luther Campbell Twitter)