Studio album by LL Cool J


18 November 1985


1984-1985 at Chung King House of Metal (New York)


Hip hop




Def Jam, Columbia


Jazzy Jay, Rick Rubin

LL Cool J chronology


Bigger and Deffer (1987)

Radio is the debut album by American rapper LL Cool J, released in 1985 on Def Jam Recordings. It serves as the label's first full-length album release. Recording sessions for the album took place during 1984 to 1985 at Chung King House of Metal in New York City, and was primarily produced by Rick Rubin, who provided a sparse and minimal production style. Radio also features a sound that is punctuated by DJ scratching, mostly brief samples, and emphasis of the downbeat. LL Cool J's b-boy lyricism conveys themes of inner city culture, teenage promiscuity and braggadocio raps.

Reflecting the new school and ghettoblaster subculture of the United States during the mid-1980s, Radio belongs to a pivotal moment in the history and culture of hip hop. Its success contributed to the displacement of the old school with the new school form and to the genre's mainstream success during the period. Its success also served as a career breakthrough for LL Cool J and Rick Rubin. 

The album experienced a significant amount of commercial success, and sales for a hip hop album at the time, earning Billboard chart success and selling over 500,000 copies within its first five months of release. Initial criticism of the album was generally positive, as LL Cool J's lyricism and Rick Rubin's production were praised by several music critics. It has since been recognised by critics as LL Cool J's greatest work.

Track listingEdit

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "I Can't Live Without My Radio" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 5:28
2. "You Can't Dance" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 3:37
3. "Dear Yvette" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 4:07
4. "I Can Give You More" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 5:08
5. "Dangerous" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 5:58
6. "Rock the Bells" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 4:01
7. "I Need a Beat (Remix)" LL Cool J Horovitz, Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin, Jazzy Jay 4:32
8. "That's a Lie" LL Cool J, Russell Rush Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 4:42
9. "You'll Rock" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 4:44
11. "I Want You" LL Cool J Rubin, Smith Rick Rubin 4:51
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