Magazine article Variety

My Style Started off Complex. I Was Reading Dictionaries for Fun

Magazine article Variety

My Style Started off Complex. I Was Reading Dictionaries for Fun

Article excerpt

Thirty years ago, a 17-year-old Queens rapper named LL Cool J joined forces with an enterprising NYU student named Rick Rubin. The result: "Radio," the first full-length album released by the nascent Def Jam label, launching LL as hip-hop's first mainstream heartthrob pop star. Andrew barker

What did you think when you first heard some of the beats Rick was making for you for "Radio"?

With a lot of those beats I was telling Rick what to play. I'd go, (beat-boxes), like for 'Rock the Bells' and a few others. And other times he would just completely surprise me, like with 'I Need a Beat' or 'I Can't Live Without My Radio.' He was just taking things to a whole new level.

How much did you have to adjust your style to record?

I just did what I did. …

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