You may think rapper Luther Campbell (formerly of 2 Live Crew) is the kind of guy you would find in a dance club or on a crazy reality show.
But the truth is that these days, he is likely to be found coaching football to inner-city kids, or at a city council meeting, fighting to get more funding for education, housing, or youth programs.
Born in Miami’s notorious Liberty City neighborhood, Luther saw poverty, despair, and crime firsthand.
His Uncle Ricky didn’t want him to get trapped by the “invisible chains” of systemic racism, and schooled him on the necessity of a man “owning his own ass”-controlling his own livelihood and owning property (land and/or home).
Embracing this line of thinking, Luther discovered his gift for entrepreneurship.
Starting out in a shed in his mom’s backyard, he built a multi-million dollar company, Luke Records, which was the first hip hop music label.
As a rapper on his own label, Luther became known as the “King of Dirty Rap” who pioneered the worldwide phenomenon known as the Miami Bass sound.
While Luther and his fans saw his music as wildly funny, not obscene, his popularity infuriated the establishment, and Luke became Public Enemy #1 when hip-hop crossed the color line into white America.
Luther spent over a million dollars of his own money fighting cops and prosecutors all the way to the Supreme Court to protect his-and every other artist’s-right to free speech, setting landmark legal precedents that continue to shape the entertainment industry today.
In 1994, as all of this controversy was still raging, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member quietly formed the Liberty City Optimists, an inner city youth sports program.
More than 25 years after its inception, Luke has gone on to successfully mentor thousands of young football players from the Liberty City projects in Miami, which Luke once called home.
Luke’s journey will be chronicled in “Warriors of Liberty City,” a new docuseries that explores Liberty City – the crime-ridden neighborhood in Miami and arguably the NFL’s largest, most successful football factory.
“I am excited about creating ‘must-see’ TV. The best is yet to come!” – Uncle Luke
“Warriors of Liberty City” follows a season with the Liberty City Warriors and their unlikely mentor, Uncle Luke.
Beyond football, the Liberty City Warriors Optimist Club is a youth organization that sponsors sports teams, dance, cheerleading, tutoring and academic support.
Life, like football, is a contact sport, and for the kids and families of Liberty City, being a Warrior holds the key to both.
“Warriors of Liberty City” premieres on STARZ on Sunday, Sept.16th at 8:00 PM ET/PT