Reprinted from a 1994 edition of The 411:
In the early days of hip-hop, MCs quickly became known as a fixture of the city or region they represented. L.L. Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, BDP, Public Enemy, Schooly D, Grand Master Melle Mel, Bronx Style Bob, etc. all stood for New York. When someone thought of New York hip-hop, these were the names that came to mind. The same goes for California. N.W.A, King Tee, Too Short and Ice T were the early pioneers of the West Coast scene. When it comes to Florida, however, only one group stands out as an originator: 2 Live Crew.
The original nasty foursome dropped their debut album in 1986, nearly 10 years ago. While most of the album sounds outdated, the 2 Live anthem that brought them fame is still as good as ever. "We Want Some P----!" was something that had never been done before. Following the trend of that song, both "Get It Girl" and "Throw the D" employ some catchy samples and nasty Miami lyrics.
What is interesting about the album is the majority of the content, which is simple, bragging, "I'm-better-than-the-next-MC" kind of material, not the raunchy style 2 Live Crew is so well known for. Remember, their legal troubles didn't start until their third album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be. A big plus for the album is the abscence of any of Luke's chants that annoyingly filled so much space on later albums. Mr. Mixx also represented the ghetto-style DJs with his mega mix at the end of the album.
Is What We Are is worthy of being a Hip-Hop Classic for the simple fact that it is a groundbreaking album. 2 Live Crew opened the door to Florida-based hip-hop and R&B, which has brought us Poison Clan, DJ Magic Mike and more recently Indo G and Lil Blunt.