LL Cool J – I Can’t Live Without My Radio

ll-cool-j-radio-single-back-n-the-day-buffetLL Cool J released his single “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” on October 6, 1985. The single was included on his debut album “Radio” that was released later that year. The song was written by LL Cool J and produced by Rick Rubin and LL himself.

The track had a crazy boom-bap sound thanks to the great Rick Rubin and the only sample they use is Cerrone’s  “Rocket in the Pocket” drum beat that is scratched up nicely by Cut Creator.  This song put LL on the Hip Hop map and he never looked back!

The song is a dedication to the boombox we used to carry on our shoulders that used up about 10 D size batteries.  People would try to buy the loudest one’s available on the market and LL’s choice is the JVC  RC-M90 that is displayed on his debut album.


Back in 1985, I was 14 and when I heard LL’s braggadocio rhymes, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard.  I was defiant against my parents, teachers and authority, that this song played at high volume was so satisfying!  So when I went to see Krush Groove at the theaters, I was blown away by LL’s scene stealing performance.  The man only had one line in the movie, and it was enough to be the highlight of the movie.  When he was told by Run DMCDr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde and Rick Rubin that “auditions are over“, LL says the magic word “BOX!!!” and the rest is movie and Hip Hop history!

The song is one of LL’s greatest tunes and will always be remembered by his performance in Krush Groove!  The man has gone on to release a total of 13 albums and he’s probably not done yet!  Crazy how one song can spark a career and legacy!

[Verse 1]
My radio, believe me, I like it loud
I’m the man with a box that can rock the crowd
Walkin’ down the street, to the hardcore beat
While my JVC vibrates the concrete
I’m sorry if you can’t understand
But I need a radio inside my hand
Don’t mean to offend other citizens
But I kick my volume way past 10
My story is rough, my neighbourhood is tough
But I still sport gold, and I’m out to crush
My name is Cool J, I devastate the show
But I couldn’t survive without my radio
Terrorising my neighbours with the heavy bass
I keep the suckas in fear by the look on my face
My radio’s bad from the Boulevard
I’m a hip-hop gangster and my name is Todd
Just stimulated by the beat, bust out the rhyme
Get fresh batteries if it won’t rewind
Cos I play everyday, even on the subway
I woulda got a summons but I ran away
I’m the leader of the show, keepin’ you on the go
But I know I can’t live without my radio

[Verse 2]
Suckas on my jock when I walk down the block
I really don’t care if you’re jealous or not
Cos I make the songs, you sing along
And your radio’s def when my record’s on
So get off the wall, become involved
All your radio problems have now been solved
My treacherous beats make ya ears respond
And my radio’s loud like a fire alarm
The floor vibrates, the walls cave in
The bass makes my eardrums seem thin
Def sounds in my ride, yes the front and back
You would think it was a party, not a Cadillac
Cos I drive up to the ave, with the windows closed
And my bass is so loud, it could rip your clothes
My stereo’s thumpin’ like a savage beast
The level on my power meter will not decrease
Suckas get mad, cos the girlies scream
And I’m still gettin’ paid while you look at me mean
I’m the leader of the show, keepin’ you on the go
But I know I can’t live without my radio
I’m the leader of the show, keepin’ you on the go
And I know I can’t live without my radio

[Verse 3]
Don’t touch that dial, I’ll be upset
Might go into a fit and rip off your neck
Cos the radio’s thumpin’ when I’m down to play
I’m the royal chief rocker LL Cool J
Let your big butt bounce from right to left
Cos it’s a actual fact this jam is def
Most definitely created by me
Goin’ down in radio history
I’m good to go on your radio
And I’m cold gettin’ paid cos Rick said so
Make the woofers wallop and your tweeters twitch
Some jealous knuckleheads might try to dis
But it’s nuthin’, ya frontin’, ya girl I am stuntin’
And my radio’s loud enough to keep you gruntin’
My name is Cool J, I’m from the rock
Circulating through your radio non-stop
I’m lookin’ at the wires behind the cassette
And now I’m on the right, standing on the eject
Wearin’ light blue Pumas, a whole lotta gold
And jams like these keep me in control
I’m the leader of the show, keepin’ you on the go
And I know I can’t live without my radio

[Verse 4]
Your energy level starts to increase
As my big beat is slowly released
I’m on the radio and at the jam
LL Cool J is who I am
I’mma make ya dance, boogie down and rock
And you’ll scratch and shake to my musical plot
And to expand my musical plan
Cut Creator, rock the beat with your hands

That’s right, so don’t try to front the move
As you become motivated by the funky groove
You can see me and Earl chillin’ on the block
With my box cold kickin’ with the gangster rock
See people can’t stop me, neither can the police
I’m a musical maniac to say the least
For you and your radio I made this for
Cool J’s here to devastate once more
Pullin’ all the girls, takin’ out MCs
If ya try to disrespect me, I just say Please!
Here to command the hip-hop land
Kick it live with a box inside my hand
I’m the leader of the show, keepin’ you on the go
But I know I can’t live without my radio

Farmers Boulevard, yeah, you know that’s where me and E hang out, cool out, you know what I’m sayin’? That’s where the crib’s at

-Al E.




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