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6 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard as Hell, 13 Jan 2004
This review is from: Radio (Audio CD)
This is as basic and raw as rap album's get. LL Cool J's finest to date. With the exception of some tracks on "Mama said knock you out" LP, LL Cool J has not managed to recreate that raw heavy drumtrack of this album. The most outstanding tracks to my mind are "rock the bells" and "I need a beat". It always refreshes me to listen to the immature and jokey lyrics and realise that this was a teenage boy who was rapping about his life and dreams. I am glad that there are few mentions of how many rival ganstas he has shot or how many Escalades he has or the size of his diamonds. There are no ultra slick samples or vocal mixes with token eye candy. Instead we have lyrics that boast about how good his rhymes are, how good he looks and more importantly how he make everyone else look bad. The scratching is loud and raw. It make you want to crank up the volume and body pop ( deliberately left out breakdancing because I was never a fan of spinning on my head in case I happened to snap my neck). If you want to know what rapping was all about then you need to add this album to your collection. What LL needs to do is go back to rapping with his DJ and get Rick Rubin in his studio and that is it! Come back LL to your roots and rap like you used to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No James Brown Samples, 5 Feb 2013
By 
G Dogg (Davis, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Radio (Audio CD)
Producer Rick Rubin brings the minimalist rock and scratchin' sound, motormouth Russell Simmons equivocates about his 1988 Mercedes in 1985, and Cool J brings the integrity raps and so forth. Cool J lays off messages and banks on legal. Minimalist production for conspicuous consumption. Requires energy or eight D batteries.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Blueprint, 18 May 2010
By 
James Tobiasen "anfieldjet" (Cheshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radio (Audio CD)
Back in the 80s I was into pop and rock music - mostly post-punk/indie and classic/psych. Encouraged by the John Peel show to explore new and different music I decided to take the plunge and buy a hip-hop album. For whatever reason, this was the one I came home with. If you listen to music a lot you'll recognise that there are certain moments when a new single or album just makes your world a bigger place, new horizons open up and you see life through a different set of goggles... this was one of those albums. Of course I had heard hip-hop before but nothing quite prepared me for the full on assault, the speed of delivery and the crashing production that this album smacks you in the face with.

I think it's fair to say that this is probably the first hip-hop album that was anywhere close to the mainstream that was able to stand on its own two feet. It set the blueprint for the next decade of hip-hop's development and stands as the first genuine classic album in hip-hop's cannon. It's a great shame that LL has never gone on to make anything that stands comparison to it... his gradual slide into R&B guest artist and so-so film appearances has not really done his talent justice... but for one album back in the 80s he stood like the gatekeeper to a great new wave of musical opportunities.

One of hip-hop's many great achievements has always been to invent new from old, to turn its listeners back to the music that it stemmed from, whether it is from samples, dj-ing or stolen phrases in the lyrics. It still uses those techniques today but it seems to me that the acknowledgement of the great music of the past, the music that helped shape the current output, is too often brushed aside. on this album the past was given it's full dues whilst pointing the way forward to a great and unknown and unknowable future. If you have any interest in hip-hop's past then this is one of those albums that you ought to have - it may not be where it all started but it was one of the first great milestones on the journey.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LL Rockin Bells, 8 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Radio (Audio CD)
Back in 1985, a young man by the name of James Todd Smith released his first album. Little did many know that this was to be LL Cool J, and this album is a must for extreme old school fans. LL set out an agenda that was to sprawl over some 6 albums, as he stressed the importance of his beatbox on the title track and also created the classic but defintive jam "Rock the Bells". The intro to this song has oft been nicked, but none of the imitators came close. So strap on your kangol and let the drum machines remind you of the old school sound....
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 21 April 2002
By 
P. Prior "prog5000" (Norwich - UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Radio (Audio CD)
Over the past few years "rap," "hip-hop" or "street" music has become over-saturated by so many sub-par b-boy-come-latelys (see L.L.'s Queens comrades Run-D.M.C.'s "Sucker M.C.'s") that it's cause for celebration when a breakthrough record like Radio hits. L.L. Cool J is a solo MC with style, wit, uncanny phrasing and timing. Radio succeeds with a sparse sound built on nothing much more than a big beat, and clever rapping. L.L.'s funky fresh rhymes are paired with a slew of drum tracks and dance beats, in part supplied by producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys et al.). Among the lively are "I Can't Live Without My Radio," proven by countless numbers of urban and suburban youths (also included on the Krush Groove soundtrack): "You Can't Dance," guaranteed to turn two left feet into two happy feet; the boastful (a prerequisite trait for any successful M.C.) "Dangerous;" "You'll Rock;" and a remix of his single "I Need A Beat." L.L. says it best as he opens "You'll Rock": The momentum of this party can only increase/The design of this rhyme is a masterpiece." Know what I'm saying...
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars STOLLEN BEATS, 7 Jun 2007
By 
R. petrie "PEACE" (ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Radio (Audio CD)
this is ll cool j's one and only album worth having it is hiphop but lets not forget he stole the beat for rock the bells from MC SHAN & MARLY MARL AND EVEN DENINED IT. DONT TAKE MY WORD, LISTEN TO BEAT BYTER FROM MC SHAN'S ALBUM DOWN BY LAW. LETS KEEP EVERYTHING REAL. BISHOP
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