Search - Ll Cool J :: Radio

Ll Cool J
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

There are a few unmistakable footprints any fan of hip-hop can instantly recognize: the woodwind twist of Run DMC's "Peter Piper," Doug E. Fresh's "La Di Da Di," and the ferocious, burning, wax-and-metal battle cry of "LL ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ll Cool J
Title: Radio
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Def Jam
Original Release Date: 1/1/1985
Re-Release Date: 3/28/1995
Album Type: Original recording reissued
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: East Coast, Gangsta & Hardcore, Old School, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 731452735225, 0731452735225, 5099746103422

Synopsis essential recording
There are a few unmistakable footprints any fan of hip-hop can instantly recognize: the woodwind twist of Run DMC's "Peter Piper," Doug E. Fresh's "La Di Da Di," and the ferocious, burning, wax-and-metal battle cry of "LL Cool J is hard as hell!" on "Rock the Bells," from LL Cool J's 1986 debut, Radio. Although just a teenager at the time of this recording, LL booms with shocking authority on tracks like "I Can't Live Without My Radio" and "I Need a Beat." Rick Rubin completes the soundscape with Def Jam's early signature arena-rock guitar strangulations and mechanical drum fills. LL's bravado and vocal presence--despite the imperfect production on the CD and the juvenilia of "You Can't Dance" and "I Want You"--remain inescapable on Radio. --Todd Levin

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CD Reviews

I Can't Live Without My Radio
Josephll | CET | 01/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Run Dmc sat the standards for how Hip Hop was going to sound in 1984 with Run-D.M.C. and 17 year old LL Cool J continued the trend the following year with this one that became another classic. This album was also the first album to be released from Def Jam that had been founded by Rick Rubin with the help from Russell Simmons the previous year. "Radio" demonstrates Rick Rubin's production style more then any other album with it's minimalistic beats and stripped down no BS sound that often also used rock beats, just like Run Dmc. The album is throughout cohesive, considering that Rubin produced all of the songs and for a Rap album at the time it gained considerable attention. Ll Cool J on the other hand sound exactly like a product of the 80's old skool rap with b-boy attitude and street smart lyrics about anything from having fun to charming the girls to cockyness. The opener "I Can't Leave Without My Radio" that also appeared on "Krush Groove" is the best example of 80's Hip Hip and what to expect the rest of the album to sound. "You Can't Dance" and "Dangerous" about having fun shows alot of scratching and b-boy attitude while it's pretty obvious that he's not having high thought of the girl from "Dear Yvette" but certain words are not used, infact LL never sued foul words in his music. However, the majority of songs about women on LL recordings are tender ballads like "I Can Give You More" and "I Want You". These songs can be noted as the first Hip Hop ballads even if the minimalistic sound here make it hard to distinguish, he later perfected it with the seminal "I Need Love" from his following album Bigger and Deffer. "Rock The Bells" and "I Need Love" are among the best old skool hits and not only shows the style of the sound but the culture of Hip Hop in the mid 80's. "That's a Lie" is just funny, and is some kind of duet between him and Simmons where he's bragging and LL is claiming it's all lies while there's plenty of bragadocio on "You'll Rock" that is simular to "I Can't Live Without My Radio". Eventhough the sound of this album was getting olf by 1990 it's a vastly important Rap album and stands as one of the brickstones for the evolution of the genre. It was also just the beginning for LL Cool J, over 20 years later he's still around and still making hits. That itself make him the longest serving Rapper in the game and one of a few that's been though Hip Hop from the peak of it's popularity to it's current form. "Radio" would be a a great addition to you collection, cause it's one of the old skool albums that really sticks out."
Refreshingly old-school
Robert Johnson | Richmond, KY USA | 08/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sparse, yet beat-heavy, arrangements lend RADIO a raw stripped down feeling, which is enormously appealing compared to the almost laughably grandiose production that plagues much of today's hip hop. The best aspect to this minimal production is that it puts LL's voice into the foreground, and let's him loose to do his thing. Whether he's putting on his loveman persona ("I Can Give You More," "I Want You") or delivering his trademark kiss-offs ("Dear Yvette," "That's A Lie"), LL's undeniable charisma shines through brighter on RADIO than anywhere else.

The ratio of production and performance strike a perfect balance on the hard-hitting classics "Rock The Bells" (#17 R&B) and "I Need A Beat," both of which really give LL meaty hooks to sink his teeth into. The album sold Platinum despite narrowly missing the Top 40 on the Hot 200, while the semi-title track, "I Can't Live Without My Radio," was also a single and charted at an impressive #15 on the R&B chart. With the uncluttered production, clever lyrics, and impassioned delivery, RADIO represents hip hop at it's purest."
Great Debut
evil-lynn | noyb, usa | 07/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A lighthearted teenager with swagger and some bragadoccio sprinkled in steps on the scene and delivers a strong album. LL was 16 years old at the time. Compared to the current young rappers in that age group, not only is his album very complex, but it trumps a lot of the stuff being put out now. This album is a very solid effort, and after listening to what's on the airwaves right now, this album has an effect comparable to when you open up a window to a room with stagnant air. Not only do you feel refreshed, but you regain some of the brain cells that you lost when you turned on todays radio.

All rap fans should do themselves a favor and put this one in their cd players every once in a while. It'll renew your spirits and help you remember why you loved hip hop in the first place."