2 Live Crew’s Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell paid tribute to Janet Reno following the former U.S. Attorney General’s death Monday. In a heartfelt post on Campbell’s site, the Miami rapper remembered Reno, “a true Florida icon” who was supportive of the often-controversial Campbell.
“The news Janet Reno passed away early Monday has left many black Miamians, including myself, saddened by her death,” Campbell wrote. “She meant so much to the African American community. She always stood up for us when no else would.”
Reno died early Monday morning at the age of 78 following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
As 2 Live Crew faced boycotts and obscenity charges following the release of their 1989 album As Nasty as They Wanna Be, Reno was one of the rare high-profile politicians that didn’t try to censor the group.
“At the height of my fame, Reno was the only state prosecutor who didn’t come after 2 Live Crew for singing explicit lyrics when every law enforcement official in the state wanted to throw our asses in jail,” Campbell wrote. “In fact, she defended our First Amendment right to be as nasty as we wanted to be.”
Campbell also wrote about how he penned a track titled “Janet Reno” for his cousin’s girl group Anquette. The single, which chronicled Reno’s crackdown on deadbeat dads as the Miami-Dade County State Attorney, became a hit in south Florida.
“As a result, she was the only white lady who commanded the full respect of black Miami,” Campbell wrote of Reno’s reputation. “At the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parades, Reno would get more cheers than the Miami Northwestern marching band.”
Campbell shared another anecdote about Reno being the first person to donate money to the rapper’s Liberty City Optimist Club youth program.
“People may have disagreed with her, but they respected her,” Campbell wrote. “As Miami-Dade County State Attorney and the first woman U.S. Attorney General, Reno handled her high profile jobs with professionalism. She never allowed politics to dictate her decisions.”