It took a while to get through the Weekly Standard's lengthy piece about Luther Campbell's run for Miami mayor, but it's a fascinating read for a number of reasons. It's a little tough to believe senior writer Matt Labash actually finds an impromptu bikini contest hosted by Uncle Luke to drum up support to be a bunch of "fealty," but this outsider's take on the campaign -- and many aspects of South Florida on the whole -- does bring into sharp focus the way an articulate conservative sees this situation. Although there's nothing overtly racist about Labash's profile of Campbell, there's definitely a cultural divide that he can't really decide which side he'd like to be a part of.
Here are ten tail-feather-ruffling portions of the story.
A solid nutgraf for anyone who has never heard of Uncle Luke:
As one of the first acts to earn a parental advisory sticker with 2 Live
Crew's double platinum-selling "As Nasty As They Wanna Be" album, and
as the architect of the still-enduring Miami bass sound (or "booty
music" as it's called in the trade, with all the bumping, pumping,
heaving-glutei-as-jiggling-Jell-O-mold videos it inspires), Campbell has
done his part to make the F-word, the B-word, the P-word, and pretty
much any other word you can imagine commonplace in our national
discourse, such as it is.
A reference to the oldest man in the Bible -- something Weekly Standard readers won't have to Google:
But Campbell is now 50 years old. In hip-hop years, that makes him something akin to Methuselah.
Probably not necessary to say "gay" here, but a nod to those of us who actually have to "dress up" to go to work:
...in South Beach, where if you're not a gay underwear model with 5 percent
body fat it's easy to feel like a giant pair of rumpled khakis...
Wackiness always ensues in the men's room:
In the men's room, I ask a few 15-year-olds if they've seen Campbell,
thinking surely they'd be aware of a star on their premises. "I don't
know no Luther Campbell," says a kid who goes by Baby Razz, also a
rapper. "Only Luther I know is Luther Vandross, and he deeeeaaad."
File under, "If They Didn't Before, They Sure Will Now":
I stand corrected, offering that as part of the shadow economy, pimps
probably don't vote. Luke shakes his head in disagreement. "I'm pretty
sure pimps vote," he says. "A pimp is a responsible individual. [If
not], a girl won't trust him with her finances."
A Big Boi reference would have earned higher marks:
I ask if he knows how. "No," he says, "my dad always tried to teach me."
He manages though, making a wan looking knot, then trying again. I
suggest going with the P. Diddy-style full Windsor, befitting a hip-hop
mogul. A fat knot connotes distinction. "If you go with the
four-in-hand, you get the small knot," I instruct him. He waves me off.
"I'll take the forearm," he says, mishearing me.
Perhaps, I suggest, he has stumbled onto the most memorable of campaign
slogans: "Vote for Luther Campbell -- he has not had sex with you,
...the Baron of Booty Music keeps the dial tuned to Lite FM (he loves Peter Frampton and Cyndi Lauper).
"Steakhead" is a good one:
An inebriated college-age steakhead in a golf shirt and swim trunks
yells, "Tax them strippers! Do you know how much money I spend on them?"
Wait for it... oh, snap:
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I survey the crowd in front of it: an undulating sea of white men's
overbites and sunburnt cleavage. There are neck tats, shoulder tats,
back tats, face tats. Some of the guys have tattoos as well.
These are all provided without excessive context for a reason. Go read the whole thing, and let us know what you think.