Date: June 6, 1990
The Moment: In light of an anti-porn crusade by Miami lawyer Jack Thompson that captivated the public's attention, Florida governor Bob Martinez ordered state attorneys to look into whether or not sales of 2 Live Crew's Nasty As They Wanna Be could be banned under the state's obscenity laws. And then, on June 6, 1990, the verdict came in: Guilty of being too nasty for Florida. In his opinion, Judge Gonzalez wrote that the group profited from "an appeal to 'dirty' thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind" and that the album "appeals to a shameful and morbid interest in sex."
The Impact: In the days leading up to presiding Judge Jose Gonzalez's verdict, Broward County sheriff Nick Navarro had threatened to arrest store owners found to be selling the record, before it was even outlawed. Once it was deemed obscene, Navarro went ahead and arrested record store owners selling the album, and then after a live show, cuffed the members of 2 Live Crew, after sending cops into a local concert in an undercover sting operation. News of the verdict and especially the arrests made national headlines.
The Upshot: 2 Live Crew was eventually acquitted by a jury of all obscenity-related charges. Nearly two years later, in May 1992, Judge Gonzalez's verdict was roundly overturned by the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, posting a big fat L for the moral crusaders against rap. Not that it mattered. The ban made 2 Live Crew hotter than ever, and what was considered to be "obscene" rap had already started to take ahold of young cultural undercurrents in America, and past that, the world at large. The losers left behind a legacy of failed puritanism. The winners went on to inspire some of the greatest twerking anthems of all time.