Friday, April 11

Hip Hop Archives: YO! MTV RAPS - LL COOL J

To continue my salute to YO!MTV Raps'20th anniversary this month, I'm showcasing Hip Hop's pioneers. Like I said this week, if it wasn't for the ground breaking show, I don't think Hip Hop would be what it is today. So this week from the Wave Maker 365 Music Archives, I'm presenting an artist thats been around since 1985, LL Cool J (which stands for "Ladies Love Cool James"). He wasn't even 17 years old when he released his platinum debut album, Radio. It contained hits "I Can't Live Without My Radio" and "Rock The Bells". Even when mainstream America was not ready for Hip Hop at the time, LL, the B-boy king kept coming with hits like the first rap love ballad ever, "I Need Love". I remember a lot of suburban girls back then started to relate to rap because of this song. I can still hear their comments in bewilderment how a rap song wasn't always about the streets. Back in the day, LL was top dog for lyrics and delivery. He mastered the battle rap ego theme, without the public hatin' on him. His beats and hook were straight up New York. "Rock The Bells" is one of my old school anthems.
By 1990, LL was getting radio play from all Rap, R&B and Pop radio stations. MTV, as well as YO! MTV! Raps were airing his video and 1991 Grammy award winning hit, "Mama Said Knock You Out". He even sampled his own track "Rock the Bells " to end the track. Only old school people would know that. Check it:

After 22 years with Def Jam, LL Cool J has decided to part ways. He has proven longevity and loyalty. With a music and movie resume that today's striving rappers can only dream about, I hope they also recognize the huge footprints that LL Cool Jay casted on the Hip Hop trail that wasn't even paved like it is today. Check out Def Jam's site for more LL here, LL COOL J.

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