tv Interview with Luther Campbell CSPAN January 3, 2016 10:15am-10:33am EST
she had a really great time in those four years. and when she came back after those four years in service of the she actually wanted to return and she was 82 by this time, but circumstances led to her not being able to go back there. she died in 1928. after she died she was buried in the mountain view cemetery in oakland, but she didn't have a headstone for a think about 80 years, until the ina coolbrith circle finally bought her a beautiful headstone. >> for more information on the booktv's recent visit to oakland and the many other destinations on our cities to work go to c-span.org/cities tour. >> host: we're joined by author luther campbell. here's the book, the book of
luke. mr. campbell, what and where is liberty city. >> guest: liberty city is probably about 10 minutes away from here on 58th and 10th avenue right in the heart where i was raised at. 62nd, you know, martin luther king boulevard right were liberty city is. >> host: what is it. >> guest: what is it but it's a historical black neighborhood like to talk about in my book. at the neighborhood in which black folks from here when we first moved here, when we first came here everybody lived in overtown and we eventually ended up start moving to liberty city when i-95 was cut right through the african-american community here in south florida. so my dad, like to talk about in the book, was one of the first persons to purchase a home. they did know he was black when he showed up. he had already given deposit but
at the end of it when is some show up, we didn't know we were selling to a black guy. so he eventually ended up moving into one of the first guys that move to liberty city prospect and the deposit went from 500 to 2500 overnight transferred exactly, exactly. >> host: what is trying to. >> guest: two live crew is a group that eventually got into after i started out teaching early on in my career, i was a mobile dj around here in miami. the guys came down to every other band, you know, that was struggling, not getting paid royalties. and so eventually look, we want to do songs where we will get paid. i said well, i'll help you. i just want you to help me out because i want you to do a song of one of my dances i cratered in my dance is. they did a song called -- remember that song?
it was a great dance. eventually it went from that point to us doing an album and -- >> host: and it was rap music. >> guest: yes. first hip-hop song done in the south. and from there we started and created hip-hop in the south. >> host: which relationship between two live crew in the supreme court. >> guest: gratitude and the supreme court. two live crew ended up in the supreme court in my case between -- you know, it was something i think that was come had to happen. and was destined to happen because hip-hop at the third of time was under attack by, you name it, dan quayle, governor martinez in florida. my friend judge gonzales, federal judge here in broward county. you name it, everybody was after
hip-hop at the time. >> host: was it a first and in the case that after the supreme court. >> guest: yes, whether parity was protected by the first amendment. it was a parody cases originally. there were two cases that i talk about in the book. won, i wonder what to the supreme court but i think the most important case was the one that my lawyer bruce overtown and a fourth edition court of appeals. not before the district court by the court of appeals where it was the obscenity case where music was considered obscene or not. judge gonzales originally said that the music was obscene and we have to go back and get it overturned because if we didn't, the music which you write that today would've been totally different. >> host: at one point you write in your book, "the book of luke" and he worth about $100 billion. >> guest: yes. >> host: did the money come easy. >> guest: did the money come easy? not really. it was tough. it was tough.
just like biggie smalls song says, more money, more problems. the more i got my comp and the more problems i got. i tried to do the right thing and be smart about it, tried to higher good, competent people, the tax attorneys, attorneys, general counsel as i build my corporation. but when you read the book and also the people is intelligent, smart people but it did put around me stole from the come in my opinion. so it was difficult to make the money but it was hard to keep the money. >> host: was sure work as part of two live crew graphic. >> guest: my work, my work was not graphic. i think the works of the other members could have been considered as graphic, but i defended the right to their artistic of values as well as free speech. when you listen to the record and you listen to the lyrics that are wrote it was totally
different. but i was the producer so i take full responsibility for everything that was put out and given up to the general public. >> host: from your book "the book of luke" at the end of the day there's one simple reason why hip-hop historians and journalists don't give me the credit i can do. it's because of uncle luke. who is uncle luke. >> guest: uncle luke, my mom raised luther campbell, my mom and dad raised luther campbell. just like she raised all of my other four brothers, all these guys pretty much rocket scientists, navy pilots, comptrollers of major plans. me, yeah, i was the young guy, the baby of the family who looked read and heard all those guys call back complaint about money that they needed for college or whether they were in armed services and the collective being mistreated because they were black. particularly my third oldest brother when he was in the navy.
i don't think he ever got any leaves because he was trying to be a pilot. i ended up from dj'g, becoming uncle luke. uncle luke became come it was originally luke skywalker before veteran george lucas sued me. i was a dj luke skywalker parts i morphed into be uncle luke or i'm still uncle luke because i am everybody's uncle. i look out for my commute and i tried to do the right thing for everybody. >> host: was uncle luke a stage persona in a since. >> guest: now, yeah, no doubt about it. look, you've luther campbell, luke, and uncle luke. luke on stage was a guy t they give the people what they wanted. if you listen to a record, we felt it was our responsibility
go out and get people what they want, other than went into a concert or a situation in toning it down at that time. and on the records more as got pushed back, we pushed back and the records got a little more graphic than we want them to become but we were in this thing called fighting for free speech hosting the fight for two live crew's explicit that explicit lyrics was overly about the lyrics. it'd been about the principle for fighting for the right to do the same thing white artisan did with illegal harassment and censorship. >> guest: yet. when i look at it at a particular time, again, being the first hip-hop label in the south, owned and operated myself, you know, i look at artists like we were still at, and esther, you name it, these
guys, people like andrew dice clay, those guys are already on record. they were already in philly with major record labels. they were not getting the records take off the shelf. so i look at it from the standpoint saying i'm a hip-hop artist, i own my own record company, i'm an easy target for the government and i just say look, if i've got to take all my money i earned to fight for free speech for hip-hop, then i will do that. >> host: what are you doing today treasury what am i doing today? on coaching high school football. i still have the record label. we do quite a few musical jingles for commercials, whether commercials for movies. is helping my wife out with their nfl agency in restaurants. i'm just happy doing, helping out with the community. >> host: how did you get involved in being a defensive coordinator for a miami high school. >> guest: my passion has
always been football. i ended up going to miami beach high playing football. i always said when my career died down but i would go back to my youth program that i founded along with sam johnson 25 years ago that i would start coaching come and they did and i ended up coaching. now i've got some great players in the nfl, whether it's love onto davis, terry williams, friedman who will beat up your redskins. duke johnson, you name a. we've got quite a few kids in the league now. the most important one is the one that came out of my program. he's a city commission of one of the most important areas, which is this area as well. i'm happy about all of them. >> host: let's bring it all back, luther campbell, to liberty city, your career, your trajectory, what you went through. what's your wall with liberty
city now. >> guest: my role with liberty city is to try, is to stay here and just do everything i possibly can to help the people who do not have a voice. when i look at politics and liberty city and miami in general, other than all our black elected officials, they are owned by special interest groups that don't have any interest of the african-american people here in south florida. my job is to stay here and fight, just fight for them, fight for kids in schools, you know, fight for jobs. because unemployment rate is horrible. every day is a challenge of taking their property and putting condos on the property every day. that's one of the reasons why i'm happy that i did move to hollywood when i was doing movies and happy i didn't move to new york when i was a very,
very successful in the music industry, and stayed here and fight for my people post the utah into book at the fact he ran for mayor at one point. >> guest: yes. >> host: how did you do. >> guest: i came in fourth place. i came in first place with all those living voters and they came in fourth place with all the dead voters. seek him in south florida you've got dead voters. you called an absentee. the living people i came in first place competitive people i came in fourth. >> host: 11% of the vote over all. it also talk about how you look at it as one miami. has that in any way been achieved. >> guest: it's still a struggle because when, you know, from the outside looking in, the people of miami want one miami. it's not a day that goes by that some of my latin friends or jewish friends, anglo friends, you name it, that comes to me
and says what can we do to help these communities and what can we do to help these teams? does not act day goes by that these good folks come it's much more than politicians who are controlled by the special interest groups. in actuality putting money into their pockets but those are the ones who tried to create this diversion and the separation of our town. we have some great people here in miami and the people who are, they want one miami and i think that's going to be my slogan going forward, one miami. >> host: in your book, "the book of luke," you talk about the fact that the explicit lyrics label that's put on, those put on a lot of albums and cds, you are partially responsible for the, but it was a put on until white kids started buying rap music, explicit rap music that it was okay you say when black kid reminded. >> guest: yeah, yeah.
just like you succumb in the book, i talk about it in detail because i wanted people to know what i was going through. i had a really figure out why i was going through all of this controversy. why are these governors and vice presidents and tipper gore and everybody was coming after me. so as i went on i just was thinking about it like okay, hip-hop has been around. you know, it's crossing over and rock 'n roll is being phased out all of it. a lot of white kids in this community. that's when the controversy came. that's when guys like myself, ice-t, nwa, we ended up on tipper gore's list, al gore's wife. the top 10 bad guys and so at the time i just figured that's what usually all about. it was all about white kids now getting the music. but when i look at it i said is it important to fight for this? because white kids should listen to the struggles of black kids
because hip-hop music ain't nothing but the modern age blues, you know, kids like to talk, flowrider at different guys talk about the struggles that are happening in their community can nwa, taking their movies a partner at the time when they said f the police. there some great stories in the i talk about at those periods of time when black guys were getting shot and killed and it's still happening today. i just think the book is so important for people to read from a historical standpoint. >> host: explicit lyrics inside. here's the book, "the book of luke: my fight for truth, justice, and liberty city." luther campbell is the author. >> many of this year's presidential candidates have written books to introduce themselves to voters and to promote their views on issues. here's a look at some of the candidates' books.