Rapper Luther Campbell says state prosecutors so far have failed to prove a concert by his band 2 Live Crew was any more obscene than what is seen in nearby adult clubs and bookstores.
"We sing about oral sex, but the bookstore just down the street from the (Broward County) Sheriff's Office has pictures of oral sex," Campbell, leader of the Miami-based group, said during a break in Thursday's trial.Referring to a nude dancing club in Fort Lauderdale, he added: "Solid Gold is getting naked and all you have to do is pay to go there."
Campbell and group members Chris "Kid Ice" Wongwon and Mark "Brother Marquis" Ross were arrested on misdemeanor obscenity charges after a June 10 adults-only concert in Hollywood.
The three face up to a year in prison and $1,000 in fines if convicted.
On Thursday, Defense attorney Bruce Rogow grilled Broward Sheriff's detective Eugene McCloud. Rogow demanded to know why bookstores could sell obscene magazines and videotapes but black rappers could not perform songs with sexual and vulgar lyrics.
Under the state's obscenity statute, the prosecutors must prove that the concert - not just the lyrics - lacked serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
The disputed concert came four days after a federal judge in Fort Lauderdale ruled the group's sexually explicit album, "As Nasty As They Wanna Be," was obscene. Songs on the million-selling album refer to oral and anal sex and violence against women.
Two weeks ago, record store owner Charles Freeman of Fort Lauderdale was convicted of peddling obscenity for selling the album.
The band members' trial is set to continue through the weekend.