Rapper Plans to Visit City Where Councilman Wants to Prosecute Stores
Apr. 17, 1992
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Rapper Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew said he'll visit Omaha to protest the latest attempt to limit distribution of the group's sometimes explicit recordings.
City Councilman Steve Exon has called for prosecution of stores that let teens buy the group's recordings. Nebraska state law forbids distribution of pornography to juveniles.
Exon said he would alert the police Campbell was coming, after the rapper's publicist, Phyllis Palack, said he may do a concert Friday at the store, Leola's Records and Tapes.
''Mr. Campbell is certainly free to come and go as he chooses,'' Exon said. ''My concern is that a future concert to be held in this community would be restricted to adults only and that if in fact there were children present, he would be subject to some kind of prosecution.''
Exon, whose father is Sen. James Exon, and a citizens group called Omaha for Decency sent four teens into stores last weekend to see if they could buy 2 Live Crew's ''Sports Weekend'' recording, which carries a music industry label that says ''Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics.''
The label is a guide for parents and many stores won't sell such a recording to anyone under 18.
The teens were able to buy the album at six of the nine stores they tried, Exon said. Leola's was not one of the stores visited. Store owner Leola McDonald said she does not sell records with labels to minors without parental approval.
Campbell said he was coming to Omaha to support people who buy his records.
''First of all I think it should be against the law for cops to send kids in the store to buy records. The thing about it is no records should be banned for anybody,'' Campbell said in a telephone interview Wednesday from Miami.
''It should be up to the parent. The parent is responsible for the kids,'' he said.
Campbell's music and 2 Live Crew's explicit lyrics have attracted attention before. A judge in Florida ruled in 1990 that the group's ''As Nasty As They Wanna Be'' album was obscene. But a jury acquitted group members of obscenity for performing songs from the album.
Last month, Washington Gov. Booth Gardner signed a bill that will make it a crime after June 13 to sell minors records with lyrics a judge deems erotic.
Campbell said the music is intended to be funny and not be taken seriously.
He said the group makes two versions of its recordings: an adult version with explicit lyrics and another version in which some songs are rewritten or explicit words are beeped out.
Omaha City Prosecutor Gary Bucchino said Wednesday he had not decided whether to prosecute owners of the stores where the teen-agers in Exon's sting bought the albums.
If convicted, the store owners could face a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail, he said.