Raise The Roof
by Luke

Album: Changin' The Game (1997)
Charted: 26

Songfacts®:

  • Luther Campbell (aka Luke) embarked on a solo career shortly after leaving the controversial hip-hop group 2 Live Crew in the early '90s. Changin' The Game, his sixth album, was his lowest-charting release, peaking at #49 on the Hip-Hop Albums chart and failing to make the Billboard 200 altogether. But it yielded his biggest solo hit: "Raise The Roof." It peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 and reached #1 on the rap chart.
  • This also features the rap group No Good but So Good, who started out as hype men for Luke.
  • Luke is planning a "big booty party" and encourages his guests to "raise the roof," i.e. get wild and blow the lid off the celebration. In the music video, the crowd pumps their outstretched palms in the air, a gesture that becomes synonymous with the phrase. Long after its cool, rhythmically challenged wedding guests continue to do poor imitations of the move any time the DJ spins a rap song.
  • Roof raising is at its peak when Luke's song hits #1, having shown up in rap music for the past decade, starting around the time Public Enemy released their 1987 song "Raise the Roof" on their debut album, Yo! Bum Rush the Show. It shows up even earlier in pop, with The Music Explosion claiming, "When you raise the roof with your rock 'n roll, you'll get a lot more kicks with a little bit o' soul," on their 1967 hit "Little Bit O' Soul." Lionel Richie picked it up in 1984 on "All Night Long (All Night)," singing, "The time has come to raise the roof and have some fun."
  • The music video features cameos by Sean "Puffy" Combs, Ice Cube, model Tyler Beckford, and sportscaster Stuart Scott, among others. Scott, who appeared in other rap videos, including LL Cool J's "Shut Em Down," plays an announcer at the house party who explains how to do the move. "Look, it's not that difficult," he says. "You just get up, take one hand, the other hand, and just… raise the roof!"
  • This samples the "Theme from King Kong" from the 1976 King Kong remake. John Barry, who composed the film's score, was given a writing credit on "Raise The Roof."

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