“Uncle Luke” Running for Mayor of Miami: Is it a Joke?
by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World – Scholarship in Action
“Uncle Luke” from 2 Live Crew has decided to become the mayor of Miami. At least he’s going to try. Luke, who is now 50 years old, claims that the run is a serious one, and not some kind of joke.
"My major hurdle is people taking me seriously, a lot of people think this is a joke," said Uncle Luke. "I call it a banana republic and I’m serious about it. You look at the commission and they make their own rules as they go, regardless of what the county attorney says, they make their own rules, just do what they want. They have no respect for the people."
Do I consider the campaign to be a joke? Well, I guess it depends on how Luke goes about trying to become mayor. Of course he probably won’t win the election, so perhaps my personal speculation is moot. But I have to at least give Luke credit for trying to become involved in his community. Luke interviewed me for his radio show about a year ago, and I’ll admit that the show was not a serious one. However, I could sense that beneath the wild, raunchy, comedic demeanor lies a man with a keen understanding of the world around him.
Far too many hip-hop artists miss opportunities to make a difference in the world by not allowing their reality to extend beyond the beats and rhymes they spit in the booth. But with mass incarceration taking down so many black men, and with black children having their futures repossessed every year by inadequate school systems, none of us can afford to sit on the sidelines as our families are being ruined.
During the recent Measuring the Movement forum I attended in New York City, I sat with another conscientious rapper by the name of Rhymefest. I asked him why other artists are not involved in their communities in the same way that he is, and he said that many artists (especially a very well-known rapper he mentioned whose name I won’t repeat) are so disconnected from the realities of black America that they simply don’t care. This makes no sense to me in light of the large number of hip-hop artists who rap about going to jail, growing up poor and dropping out of school. It seems that black male rappers would be the first in line to correct the disparities that have stolen the lives of their own family members. Perhaps this will one day change.
Good luck Uncle Luke, let’s see if you can make a splash. At the very least, I’m sure your campaign will be interesting.