There was probably a time in the 1980s when Luther Campbell felt like the king of Miami. When his raunchy rap group, 2 Live Crew, was cranking out the hits and making headlines across the nation for their sexually explicit rhymes, Uncle Luke could not be stopped and the world was his thong-wearing, booty-dropping oyster.
The roar of the crowd has died down, but Campbell apparently still craves the spotlight, which might explain why the now 50-year-old "Me So Horny" rhymer and occasional Miami New Times columnist is considering a run for mayor of Miami.
He's keeping his eye on a March 15 vote to recall current mayor Carlos Alvarez and, not surprisingly, one of the rapper's platforms has something to do with strippers ... though not in the way you might think.
Campbell spoke to the New Times on Thursday and explained his motivation for the run at public office. "I am mad frustrated," explained Luke, detailing his long-ago battles with the city of Miami Beach over the treatment of black patrons at his area nightclub. "I've thought about running for public office before, but someone would always end up talking me out of it, saying, 'We have this good person here, he will do good for the community,' so I always backed out. But I'd end up frustrated because they didn't do anything. I'd give them ideas and they would just tell me what [I] wanted to hear.
"I get in my car, ride around Liberty City, and everything looks the same as when I was in the neighborhood growing up. I see the same crimes in the same areas," he continued. "Officers and residents are still getting killed in the community I grew up in." He's also frustrated by the endless construction at Miami International Airport.
His platform? He complains that Alvarez hasn't created any new jobs and has kept around the same do-nothing workers. He wants more affordable housing, including secure inner-city dwellings, and he promises to go over the budget with a fine-toothed comb to make sure it's balanced, just like he used to do at his record label back in the day.
And then there's his plan to tax exotic dancers. "Even though all my stripper friends are gonna be mad at me, I think we can stimulate the economy with a tax on strippers," he said. "They make all this money and don't pay taxes. I'd take that cash and put it into a fund where it supports youth athletics for girls like cheerleading or softball. Or it can go to help pay for existing little girls programs that are struggling to get government assistance."
And there you have it. Luke said he'll run a grassroots campaign modeled after President Obama's 2008 presidential bid that will target people who are registered but just haven't been excited enough about a candidate to vote. "It will be just like music marketing," he promised. "Fun. We will be having campaign parties before the election to get people motivated, get them behind something historical."
Would you vote for Luther Campbell as mayor?