The raw and powerful true story of how one man invented Southern Hip-Hop, saved the First Amendment, and became a role model for his disenfranchised Miami neighborhood—living proof that one person can make a difference in the world.
A rap artist, wealthy musical entrepreneur, high school coach, and involved, active citizen—Luther Campbell’s life is a reflection of modern America. His is a tale that touches on the most pressing issues of our time: sex, creativity versus the corporate bottom line, conservative values and artistic freedom, personal rights, the gangster mentality of music companies, the rise of entrepreneurship, and the power—and responsibilities—of individuals to care for their neighborhoods, their country, and the people around them.
Born in Miami’s notorious Liberty City neighborhood, Campbell saw firsthand poverty, despair, and crime. He also discovered the gift of transformation we all possess—knowledge that has made him a passionate fighter willing to take on the most powerful forces in the name of justice and what’s right. His rap group 2 Live Crew and successful independent label made him a superstar and a multi-millionaire—and the center of enormous controversy.
The “King of Dirty Rap” who helped pioneer the worldwide phenomenon known as the Miami Bass sound infuriated the conservative mainstream and became Public Enemy #1 when hip hop crossed the color line into white America. Campbell spent over a million dollars of his own money fighting cops and prosecutors all the way to the Supreme Court to protect his—and every other artist’s—right to free speech, setting landmark legal precedents that continue to shape the entertainment industry today.
Twenty years later, Campbell uses his fame and fortune to give back to the community, saving young men from the street corners and fighting for his people. Passionate, transformative, and inspiring, The Book of Luke is his story—a living testament to hope and change.
Luther Campbell is the entrepreneur behind 2 Live Crew, owner of Luke Records, and former concert promoter. Luther Campbell was at one time arguably the nation’s most controversial hip-hop figure. Campbell formed the Miami-based quartet in 1987 and they were the centerpiece of a national campaign against allegedly obscene lyrics. He was embroiled in a volatile trial pitting him against then-Florida attorney general Jack Thompson.
Campbell later became a solo artist, issuing his own discs as Luke Featuring 2 Live Crew. He released Banned in the U.S.A., a parody of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” and I’ve Got Shit on My Mind. Campbell also published an autobiography and revamped 2 Live Crew, adding some fresh members.
They issued Back at Your Ass for the Nine-4, which peaked at number nine on the R&B chart in 1994. Campbell also won a Supreme Court decision that ruled that his parody of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” didn’t violate the copyright held by Acuff Rose. Campbell launched the career of R&B vocalists H-Town, issuing their debut LP on Luke Records. ~ Ron Wynn, Rovi