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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Rewind: 1985 Radio - L.L.Cool J

L.L. Cool J, you see him on TV host award shows or in his role as Sam Hanna on NCIS: Los Angeles and you kind of forget that he's one of the men responsible for putting the Hip Hop Revolution of Def Jam Recordings on the map.

Def Jam Recordings had been founded by Rick Rubin whilst he was at University and it's first release in 1982 was by Rubin's own Punk Rock band Hose - a 7" that included the songs Mobo, Girls and Going To The Zoo. The first single with the Def Jam Recordings logo was the 1984 release T La Rock and Jazzy Jay's It's Yours. The first to have Def Jam Recordings catalog numbers were I Need A Beat by L.L. Cool J and Rock Hard by the Beastie Boys.

Radio was the first full-length album release by Def Jam Recordings and also the debut album from James Todd Smith (to now be known as L.L. Cool J).

It was one of the first highly successful Hip Hop albums and is generally regarded as Cool J's best work.

I don't recall where I first came across the music of L.L. Cool J, I'm pretty sure it was the Rock The Bells single though. Hip Hop was not something I really knew a lot about (and probably still don't) but this album, early Public Enemy, Run DMC, and the Beastie Boys are among a number of my favourites. All that gangsta stuff that came later and continues today I can pretty much do without.

Radio - L.L. Cool J
Def Jam Recordings
Produced by Rick Rubin and Jazzy Jay
Released 18th November 1985
US Chart #46
UK Charts #71

L.L. Cool J - Vocals
DJ Cut Creator - Disc Jockey
Russell Rush - Backing Vocals on 'That's a Lie'

Singles on Radio
(Album version is a Remix)

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