The Time LL Cool J Rapped as a Genetically Modified Shark

Categories: LL Cool J

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LL Cool J
Thursday night, veteran rhymesmith and mic controller LL Cool J leads the charge of hip-hop's all time greats, including Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul, for a night of rap royalty at Roseland Ballroom. While Mr. Cool James has given us over 25 years of undisputed rap classics, he's also been fearless in terms of the topics he's been willing to explore on record. While not necessarily good or bad things, they're relegated to a puzzling category of memorable "LL Things." In advance of the show, we revisit LL's most bizarre moments.

See also: How to Make Sense of Brad Paisley and LL Cool J's "Accidental Racist"

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Q&A: Big Fun In The Big Town Director Bram Van Splunteren On The '80s New York Hip-Hop Scene

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"The Beastie Boys were just silly," says Dutch-based documentary maker Bram Van Splunteren. "You couldn't do a serious interview with those guys. They were just goofing around. We had them rap down the phone but I don't remember any kind of content from that interview."

Back in the mid-'80s, Splunteren interviewed MCA, Ad Rock and Mike D for Wild Worlds, a radio show he ran. Despite the show's tendencies toward playing guitar-ased rock music, Splunteren liked to weave in rap songs when he could, not least those stamped with the Def Jam label logo. That interest in the music bloomed when he was given the opportunity to travel to New York City for two weeks in 1986 to produce a documentary about the hip-hop scene for the radio station's TV broadcast partner.

Big Fun In The Big Town will be screened tonight as part of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. Which seemed like a fine excuse to Skype it up with Splunteren about interviewing LL Cool J at the rapper's grandmother's house, checking out the Latin Quarter club, and attempting to chase down the Beasties in person.

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The Top Five Queens Rap Anthems (As Chosen By Hip-Hop Artists)

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Nas, representing Queens' own.
Talk of patriotism might be all up in the BBQ-scented air at this time of year, but rap artists are equally as proud of their local roots, not least when it comes to the great masses who hail from Queens. With the Q-Boro having provided perhaps more great rappers than any other section of New York City, we got in touch with some of Queens' most estimable hip-hop stars—Prodigy from Mobb Deep, Psycho Les from the Beatnuts, Das Racist's pal Big Baby Gandhi and DJ Rob Swift—and asked them to pick their all-time favorite Queens hip-hop anthems.

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The Top 15 Hip-Hop Songs About Police Misconduct

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Though artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Baby Huey spoke on police corruption, it wasn't until the dawn of the rap era that the message in the music began to convey the anger and frustration of people who had been systematically disenfranchised and brutalized since the United States was founded. In honor of the spotlight on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy—which has particularly affected men of color ages 18 to 24—SOTC decided to compile a playlist. Get your bail money together and let your lawyer know a riot charge is on the horizon—here are 15 songs that address abuses by police departments actross the country.

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Top Ten Greatest Rap-Acronym Anthems

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Kanye West and Jay-Z's Lex Luger-produced "H.A.M." is a creative union of the two biggest currently recording rap stars in the world -- as the lead single to the duo's upcoming Watch the Throne project, it's a feisty statement of intent. But more importantly, it's a fresh edition to the canon of wonderful rap songs tagged with (usually) brilliantly bad acronyms. With "H.A.M." Fever still in full effect, here are 10 of rap's biggest acronym-based anthems.

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