DULUTH, GA., JUNE 15 -- Yo, 'round midnight Thursday, the renegade rapper in the black head wrapper finally hit the stage, ghetto New Age, at the all-teen Ozone Club in this New South Atlanta suburb, and the crowd of 300 began chanting one of the 2 Live Crew's raunchier lines:



"We're going to show a whole lot of people out here tonight -- they say 2 Live Crew can't do a clean show and still rock, but we're going to prove 'em all wrong!" declared band leader Luther Campbell, a k a Luke Skyywalker, a onetime gang member who has become a millionaire from raucous rap music.

Then, heeding a friendly warning from local law enforcement officials to keep it clean, or else, he tested, taunted, shouting only part of a lewd lyric, thrusting the microphone at the largely white crowd of yuppie teens dancing side by side with middle-class blacks, letting them do his dirty work.

"WE WANT," he sang.

"SOME {SEX}!" they yelled back, providing the profanity-laced lyrics that prompted Florida police to bust Campbell and another band member for alleged obscene and lewd behavior at a concert last Saturday and a federal judge to rule the songs obscene.

Down front, in his (undercover) blue blazer and gray slacks, Wayne Bolden, 46, Gwinnett County's top cop, hunkered down, actually tapping his feet to the beat, an Elvis fan put on notice by his college-age daughter who phoned home to warn him not to bust the rappers. "So far, so good," he allowed. "I think it's gonna be all right. They're letting the audience do most of it."

So began the latest stop on the rap hype parade, a truncated 40-minute show consummated only after Campbell was assured he wouldn't be arrested for merely showing up.

For conservative Bible Belt parents who flooded the county solicitor with 65 calls yesterday, it was their worst nightmare, the night the lights went out in Georgia, as ceiling strobes danced yellow and green and the crowd filled in the raunch for the rappers, whose a big Saturday gig in Huntsville, Ala., was canceled today by civic center officials who said the promoter didn't obtain proper insurance for the show. "See, we can do it clean," yelled another band member.

But fans wanted it down and dirty. "I love their music because it's nasty," cooed Kristie Wallis, a ninth-grader in a black frilly dress. "I know it stands for something meaningful too, I just don't know what it is yet."

She was a red-haired preacher's daughter, hellbent on boogieing to renegade rappers; she and three girlfriends had been dropped off last night by parents 30 miles north of Hotlanta. At 14, they were too young to drive, but bubbled up with their take on the First Amendment, '90s rebellion and how the raw lyrics of the 2 Live Crew jived with yuppified red-clay feminism.

"When Luke {band leader Luther Campbell} sings, 'We want some {sex},' he doesn't mean go out and grab some woman off the street and rape her. He's saying, 'Ask her first,' " said Wallis. Asked if she was offended by the Crew album "As Nasty as They Wanna Be," with its 87 references to oral sex, 116 to genitalia and its rap about sexually submissive women, she scrunched up her nose, bewildered by the very suggestion some women might find it objectionable.

"So what if they're not singing about rainbows and sunshine like the '60s," she said. "They're just saying if you're gonna do it, have fun with it."

"If our parents didn't like sex, they wouldn't have porno movies sitting around in cabinets at home," added a friend named Robin. "For her 40th birthday, my dad got my mom a male stripper who danced and took off all his clothes. It was no big deal."

Nearby, four college boys hovered. A few feet farther, a racially mixed rap group hopped to the boom box beat, the whole club swaying and vibrating as giant JBL speakers blasted.

"This is what it's all about," said Campbell, "black and white people all together." Then he launched into hard, pulsing rhythms with hard-to-hear lyrics that fused together and sounded like "lickin' Southern-fried chicken ... Was it good?" and street slang for let's all head for the house of ill repute.

Chief Bolden didn't wince. Wax in his ears? "Can't hardly hear what he's saying," he said.

A nearby Marriott Hotel canceled the band's rooms, claiming reservations were made under false pretenses. Manager Don Marone said the group had claimed that former mayor Andrew Young, a candidate for governor, aimed to hold a press conference at the hotel on their behalf. When he checked with Young's staff, he said they denied it.

At the same time, Gwinnett County police warned record stores against selling the X-rated version of the album. And band attorney Bruce Rogow charged local officials with unlawful censorship. Then Thursday a standoff developed, and an early show at the Ozone Club was canceled as the band missed its Miami-to-Atlanta flight and Campbell waited for an assurance from county police.

"Luther Campbell had feared he'd be arrested just for showing up," said club partner Ed Kramer, "no matter what he sang. But he spoke to the police and they assured him the band would be more than welcome playing the PG-13 version. Then he felt comfortable," and caught a plane that landed here at 9:30 p.m.

"Nobody is looking for trouble -- the point is made already," said Rogow, a law professor at Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Referring to the late comedian who jousted with authorities over his comedy routines, Rogow said, "Lenny Bruce just wanted to go from place to place and get arrested, 15 times."

But he said Campbell and his band aimed to avoid jail after authorities in Broward County, Fla., and elsewhere warned record stores against selling the album's racier version -- and as the ban boosted demand across the country for a band that was dropping in the charts until the arrest sparked headlines and freedom-of-speech protests. All along, the band's X-rated album has outsold its sanitized counterpart, "As Clean as You Want to Be," 10 to 1.

"So far it's a victory for the First Amendment and 2 Live Crew," said Rogow. "When the federal judge declared it obscene, it galvanized public opinion about the kind of threat to the First Amendment this poses."

After polling teens last March, before the arrests, club disc jockeys had booked the band for $5,000. "We're in the teen entertainment business, we're just trying to meet demand," said Lisa "Bouffant" Lamont Findley, 23, a club owner's wife who likes "the beat but not the words."

Before the concert, some 300 restless fans clutching $18 tickets milled about a row of warehouses in the hot summer night. A no-alcohol club for 14- to 19-year-olds -- its motto is "You don't have to be high to get into the Ozone" -- the club suddenly became a '60s throwback, a parking lot of biracial social protest as college students from Morehouse milled about with white teenagers and pubescent teeny-boppers from upscale suburbs -- and with some protesters their parents' age.

There was a kindergarten teacher, Donna Williamson, mother of three, parading about in shorts and sandals and carrying a sign: "A Bad Rap for the First Amendment." Her neighbor, accountant Vicki Sims, 36, was pushing her year-old son, Buster. "I Woke Up in Iran," said her sign, referring to the late ayatollah's reign of moral repression.

"I'm afraid the government will determine what he sees and hears when he grows up," she said, eyeing Buster. "At this rate, he'll never get to check out the library books I did to learn all those {bad} words. I mean, I went to see Alice Cooper when I was 11."

"Five-year-olds know the words they're complaining about," echoed Williamson.

"When Elvis was around, our parents' parents were bitching and complaining, but our parents thought he was fine," said Robin Loparo, 14, a ninth-grader. "We think our music is perfectly fine."

"I may not agree with their lyrics, but I'm tired of old white men, congressmen, telling blacks what they can do," said William Ferguson, 23, a Morehouse College English major. "I've got to support the band on principles. I mean Iggy Pop and Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper and all these white groups can sing about incest and bestiality and do all sorts of things on stage and no one does anything. You've got Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Kinison and who cares? But suddenly white kids start bringing this black music home to the suburbs and there's trouble."

"It's a healthy outlet," echoed Tisha McKoy, 21, a Spelman student. "Instead of going out and doing it, they're singing about it."

But lyrics celebrating women merely as sex objects were too much for club volunteer Angie Wages, who hoped "there aren't women out there stupid enough to let guys treat them the way they say in the record. The lyrics I've heard talk about {using} women for whatever they can get. They're probably sick enough to believe they can get away with it. Maybe one day they'll run into women who will put them in their place."

As night fell and the crowd waited inside, word spread that the band was on the way, and a long gray Lincoln limousine pulled up outside, beneath a media circus of a dozen TV cameras jockeying beside the back door and a forest of satellite uplinks, Eyewitness News, Eleven Alive, the networks. Then they hit the stage and the crowd roared pent-up expletives. Two curvaceous go-go dancers swiveled hips and hiked skirts to reveal naughty French-cut undies.

"Say, 'I be so horny!' " shouted Campbell.

"Be so horny!" shouted his fans.

Grinning ear to ear as he danced on stage in a yellow T-shirt, a football jacket and bandanna, Campbell summoned fans onstage, then warned the crowd as it turned ever more lascivious.

"Hold it," he said, cutting them off. "Y'all singing the wrong version. You're supposed to be singing the clean version. Y'all gonna go to jail."

There was indeed a bust, but the bust was the concert, or so the fans grumbled, shouting "hell no" as police allowed the band -- three hours late in arriving -- to play only 15 minutes past the midnight curfew for the teen club.

"It was a PG version," said Chief Bolden afterwards. "No arrests are contemplated. Looks like we're going to part friends."

But fans weren't ready to declare peace and love, as some demanded refunds, blaming police as the band members fled for their limousines. "You can see Eddie Murphy in concert cussin' on HBO, buy porno movies, watch sex on soap operas, and hear 'damn,' 'hell' and 'bitch' on rented movies, so why can't I hear a band say {a stronger obscenity}?" fumed Sally Tart, 19, a student at DeKalb College.