Mr. Mixx

Due to the imposing media presence of frontman Luther Campbell, 2 Live Crew was often seen as his vehicle, but the group actually started without him under the guidance of producer David Hobbs (aka Mr. Mixx). It was the work of both men that brought them to the national spotlight, with Campbell's offensive rhymes matched to the boisterous, fast-paced beats produced by Mixx. Hobbs first started working on records in California, where he met rapper Fresh Kid Ice (aka Chris Wong Won) and hype man Amazing V. The three started 2 Live Crew in the spring of 1985, releasing the "Revelation" single by the summer. The 12" was a club hit in Miami, inspiring Mixx and Ice to move to Florida to try to capitalize on their success. Brother Marquis joined up soon after, and based on the regional popularity of their second single, "What I Like," they were soon signed to local entrepreneur Luther Campbell's Luke Records. Campbell first became their manager, but his forceful personality made him a natural performer, and soon he was on-stage with the band nightly. With Campbell's sex-driven rhymes giving the group a lyrical focus, Mixx concentrated on their sound, a fast moving, bass-driven sound that would become the prototype for many of the Southern styles to follow. Their debut album, 2 Live Crew Is What We Are, was a surprise hit, leading to a string of popular albums that culminated in the massively popular As Nasty as They Wanna Be in 1989. Although Mixx lived it up with his main group, he also found time to write and produce the debut from the Poison Clan, 2 Low Life Muthas. After 1991's Sports Weekend, the group began to work on different projects, with Mixx and Ice forming the Rock on Crew before moving on entirely. Mixx started to work on his own albums, and in 1993 the Oh My Gosh EP became his first solo release. Splitting his time between a solo career and producing tracks for other artists, he was approached by Ice and Marquis in 1996 about reuniting 2 Live Crew without Campbell. The group released Shake a Lil' Somethin' the same year, but without the controversial presence of Campbell, the project had little appeal to mainstream audiences. Still, the album was successful enough to warrant a second attempt, this time with only Mixx and Ice remaining. The Real One arrived in 1998, but it was met with the same fate and marked the last record of original material from that lineup. Mixx moved on to his solo career, releasing more albums and singles under his own name while supervising tracks by Lil' Troy and Daz Dillinger, among others. Despite the end of 2 Live Crew, his new productions proved that he could adapt to different genres and was still a sought-after, relevant producer. ~ Bradley Torreano

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