Clearly, hip hop is no longer a music genre or culture by teens, for teens. We have all grown up, and the 35-45 year old parent driving to pick up their child from school is less frequently bumping Boyz to Men but Biggie. It's time to return to our roots, and give these at risk youth something to connect to as Cudi so eloquently put it. Not just behind the scenes, but also in your day job - your lyrics and your message.
Today marks 28 years since LL Cool J released his debut album, Radio on Def Jam Recordings. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1984 to 1985 at Chung King House of Metal in New York City. The album was primarily produced by Rick Rubin, who provided a sparse and minimal production style. Radio also features a sound that is punctuated by DJ scratching, mostly brief samples, and emphasis of the downbeat. LL Cool J's b-boy lyricism conveys themes of inner city culture, teenage promiscuity, and braggadocio raps.
The album experienced a significant amount of commercial success and sales for a hip hop record at the time, earning U.S. Billboard chart success and selling over 500,000 copies within its first five months of release. On April 19, 1989, Radio was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), following sales in excess of one million copies in the United States. Initial criticism of the album was generally positive, as LL Cool J's lyricism and Rick Rubin's production were praised by several music critics. It has since been recognized by critics as LL Cool J's greatest work.
Reflecting the new school and ghettoblaster subculture in the U.S. during the mid-1980s, Radio belongs to a pivotal moment in the history and culture of hip hop. Its success contributed to the displacement of the old school with the new school form and to the genre's mainstream success during the period. Its success also served as a career breakthrough for LL Cool J and Rick Rubin. Radio has been recognized by music writers as one of the first cohesive and commercially successful hip hop albums.
LL Cool J is a force in the entertainment biz. The Grammy-winning artist has not only tackled the music world, he has also won over audiences with his starring role on the CBS hit drama, NCIS: Los Angeles.
Now, the father of four is taking on a new challenge — the ACE Brand “A” Game Challenge, a contest that asks sports fans and aspiring young athletes to submit video entries showcasing their skills in sports for a chance to win $10,000. The campaign also benefits the non-profit organization, After-School All-Stars.
“My after-school experience was trying to keep my bus pass and hoping I could get home with my new sneakers on,” the star told Parade.com. “So anytime I can do something that benefits kids and gives them an opportunity to have an after-school experience, I’m 100 percent in.”