Banned in the U.S.A.

How do you fight back when your music gets banned? If you’re Luke — Luther Campbell, leader of the rap group 2 Live Crew, whose As Nasty as They Wanna Be has been ruled legally obscene in parts of Florida — you record a stirring anticensorship single and release it on July 4.

Banned in the U.S.A. is Campbell’s strongest rap ever, though he doesn’t use four-letter words. His refrain is the chorus of Bruce Springsteen’s ”Born in the U.S.A.,” used with Springsteen’s endorsement, but with one small change: ”Banned in the U.S.A./I was banned in the U.S.A.” The record is angry, but — with ”Yankee Doodle” tootling in the background — also lots of fun. Campbell won’t let his anger grind him down.

Banned in the U.S.A.
  • Music