Atlanta Suburb Issues Warning on Obscenity to 2 Live Crew
Yet another community has raised the possibility of arrest against the band 2 Live Crew for alleged obscenities in its rap music.
Police in the suburban Atlanta community of Gwinnett, where the band is scheduled to appear at a teen-age club tonight, have warned the group that they will be prosecuted if songs like the ones on the album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” are performed.
Gwinnett Police Chief Wayne Bolden said he will personally be at the Ozone Club “to monitor the situation,” but doubted there would be problems. Police in Gwinnett County have told record store owners to remove the album from their shelves because it is obscene. Police in San Antonio, Tex., also ordered the album from store shelves there Tuesday.
In Huntsville, Ala., the City Council acted Monday to expand the local obscenity ordinance to include live performances--a move officials concede was in anticipation of 2 Live Crew’s scheduled appearance at the civic center there Saturday.
All were in response to a federal court ruling in Miami last week saying the “Nasty” album was obscene and the subsequent arrest of three members of the rap band.
The legal actions have “deeply annoyed and frustrated” members of the Miami-based band, a spokeswoman, Deborah Bennett, said Wednesday. She noted that before teen-age audiences the band “always” performs the sanitized version of their records and said the threats and warnings from Gwinnett County officials amounted to “a waste of time.”
“If they’d go after crime with as much gusto as they’re going after this music, this would truly be a great country,” she said. But Bennett conceded that the publicity, dubious as it may be, has had advantages. “Our sales are definitely picking up. . . . People now want (the album) as a novelty item.”
Owners of the teen club in Gwinnett where the group will be performing tonight had not even heard of 2 Live Crew two months ago and have been “somewhat worried and embarrassed by the whole thing,” said a spokesman.
The penalty for conviction of selling obscene material in Georgia can be up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine; in Texas, up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
In Huntsville, where 2 Live Crew is to perform Saturday, City Atty. Clyde Blankenship said that some lyrics on the album appear to violate the local obscenity ordinance.
Earlier story, Page F5.
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