LL Cool J Classics Are Mixed While He’s Interviewed…by Marley Marl (Audio)
LL Cool J and Marley Marl go back. These two Queens, New York icons crossed paths in the late-1980s, when LL Cool J was widely touted as one of Hip-Hop’s finest MCs, and Marley Marl was the go-to producer. From mixes of “Jinglin’ Baby,” to “Around The Way Girl,” these two men made hits together.
After LL had fooled around with different producers (Larry Smith, Rick Rubin, L.A. Posse, DJ Pooh, The Bomb Squad, etc.), he stumbled into Marley’s House Of Hits for 1990’s Mama Said Knock You Out. A multi-platinum snatch-back of the spotlight, the Def Jam Records release reminded everybody that James Todd Smith was a premiere MC in the Big Daddy Kane/Rakim era, both of whom had benefited from Marley’s ear.
Twenty five years later, the two men sit in together on Marl’s “Golden Era Radio” show. For 90 minutes, the Juice Crew mastermind spins his way through LL’s catalog… something that he was inevitably doing since 1985, helping integrate the pride of Farmers Boulevard into the Hip-Hop consciousness. The mix, mostly chronological, works. Moreover, this is not just an All World walk-through of the chart tracks. Rather, the mixmaster-turned-producer looks at the catalog from a Head’s perspective, playin’ the joints.
What’s interesting though, is that LL Cool J is actually sitting in as Marley gets busy. The self-proclaimed GOAT is faced with his greatness in a really raw moment. “Raw” may be the operative word, as Marley—who was well-established before LL Cool J’s rise to stardom, clown the Grammy Awards host. Just like two guys from the Q-U, these icons cap on each other about their tight clothes, doo-rags, softer catalog moments, and more. In between, Marley leads J to share some interesting anecdotes about his career. For instance, some of LL’s anger in “Mama Said Knock Out” was apparently aimed at a studio engineer. The superstar MC addresses some of the hungry MCs from his time who didn’t make it to the large level, but are still working. Also, LL takes some questions from call-in’s that aren’t the kind of censored things Heads might hear if LL was on a talk-show. Basically, this is stripped down celebration of not one, but two of Hip-Hop’s king.
Should Uncle L call Marley Marl for his new material?