LL Cool J Refutes Battling Jay Z, Talks 2 Types Of Album Styles & Some Amazing Rumors (Audio)
The Combat Jack Show has left Hip-Hop journalism better than they found it in 2014. In the closing weeks of the year, the show invited LL Cool J for what immediately feels like one of the finest sit-downs. At nearly two hours, LL turns towards his devout Hip-Hop fans, his Heads in the know, and addresses the issues and tells the stories they want to know.
A premiere host, a TV star, and a Hollywood actor, Todd Smith is an MC first. Chances are, you will leave this discussion—which spans the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s, and present decade, with increased respect and understanding surrounding the Rap superstar.
Here’s some chapter breakdowns, though this interview truly does beckon a full listen:
(2:00) On making two types of albums, and a closer look back at Todd Smith. He says he’s made albums devoid of “cultural consideration.” However, he says that the upcoming GOAT 2, is definitely “for the culture.”
(10:00) On witnessing shootings at age four, and suffering physical abuse within his family as an adolescence.
(13:00) On his previous names, and adapting the keeper: “LL Cool J” into “suitcases of rhymes.” Additionally, LL talks about the impact of Crash Crew, Treacherous Three (which included Kool Moe Dee), and Cold Crush Brothers. This extends into a cool discussion about LL’s push as a soloist in the era of the Rap crew. Interestingly, Kool G Rap/Akinyele affiliate Dr. Butcher (known today for his production and DJ work) was one of LL’s early 1980s band-mates. Cool J also explains MC Mikey D, who notably replaced Large Professor in Main Source in the early ’90s, and his status as one of Queens’ best MCs, who never got his true due. As the natural convo moves on, LL Cool J mentions rolling with some of New York City’s most notorious street dudes, back around Radio. Rich Porter, Alpo, Stretch, Big Chuck, and other figures of street lore are chronicled, which is interesting, given LL’s anything-but-gangsta aesthetic in the ’80s.
(38:00) On hearing T La Rock’s “It’s Yours.” He laces the importance of DJ Jazzy Jay’s involvement in the Party Time Records cut. He remembers calling the phone number on the 12″. He breaks down the contents of his demo, including an alternate version of “I Need A Beat.” LL admits he was about to retire at that time, in 1984.
(1:01:00) On being young, rich, arrogant, in New York City. This stems into LL Cool J’s thoughts on race in America in 2014.
(1:20:00) On battling Jay Z. Adamantly, LL Cool J refutes a reported story (according to Combat Jack, by Dame Dash) that he battled Jay. Instead, LL clarifies the story, which features a hungry Jay, who allegedly ambushed LL, who was then-accompanied by mutual associate, Sauce Money. LL gets on one here, in a really slick, LL-esque way. “Sometimes the best thing to say is nothing” – LL Cool J, on why he did not tolerate Jay’s challenge. The discussion bleeds into Craig Mack’s “Flavor In Your Ear (Remix),” whereby LL addresses early ’90s rumors surrounding his sexuality, after records like “Pink Cookies In The Plastic Bag.” LL recalls Puff Daddy’s encouragement at the time, with what feels like some disdain. In those moments, LL, who is largely self-managed, addresses some that Puff addressed the Def Jam icon for…two weeks. Does this bring the Rick Ross/Nicki Minaj management fiasco from 2010 to mind? In what may be a joke, LL recalls that in those two weeks, Puff had allegedly drafted LL’s 1980s reissues with the Bad Boy management logo.