These days KEXP plays quite a bit of rap and hip hop, of course during Street Sounds every week, but also mixed into pretty much all of the variety mix DJs’ sets. From Blue Scholars to Shabazz Palaces, Public Enemy to LL Cool J, most of the DJs here have a deep love for the finer hip-hop sounds of the past few decades.
That said, it seems that – at least as far as Mr. James Todd Smith was concerned – this love took a while to establish itself. It was 1987, and perhaps most college radio DJs weren’t expecting the big, def rhymes of the likes of LL Cool J to have worked their way into heavy rotation. I realize I shouldn’t assume people’s views of an entire genre based on one album by one artist, but come on, this is LL COOL J! I will admit that it’s entirely possible that those speaking ill (so to speak) of this album were playing Yo! Bum Rush the Show every chance they had. Still, it’s sad to see so much negativity directed toward such a fine artist. This particular record doesn’t get much play these days at KEXP, but 1990’s Mama Said Knock You Out is still a staple around these parts.
Not to put too much ammunition in those who would disparage this album, but I will say “I Need Love” (and its accompanying video) is one of the most hilariously cheesy things ever to happen in hip hop.
“[There might be a missing label here, as this one starts in the middle of a sentence.] it with Mantronix on it. Yeah it is explicit at times, but not gratuitous, if you know what I mean. Besides, this has some pretty wild songs — crazy mixes and productions.”
“H? C’mon. This really is bad. ‘Boorish and dumb.’ Let KFOX play it.”
“Sorry, but this really sucks.”
“‘Ahh Let’s Get Ill’ is good but try “I need Love’ on 45, ’cause on 33 it’s pathetic. Can we M this?”
“Y’all jus’ way off. This is cool.”
“Doesn’t come close to Mantronix musically. The 2 songs that sound best (1.1 + 2.2) are red dots so there’s not much point in keeping this in H.”
“Let me go on record as saying that with one, two, maybe three exceptions, I spoke too soon on this one. :( [From the person who wrote the first comment.]”