LL Cool J – 'I'm Unhealthy': Throwback Video of the Day

LL Cool J was born dangerous, which means born to be considered one of hip-hop's most underappreciated superstars. “By the point I received that gear, I used to be already a rapper," LL advised The New York Occasions in 1987. "I received into it once I was about 9, and since then all I needed was to make a file and listen to it on the radio."

The Queens rapper, generally known as James Todd Smith, cemented his status because the baddest rapper within the recreation, courting again to 1987 when he launched the lead single “I’m Unhealthy” off his Larger and Deffer (BAD) album. The venture had the identical, rock-rap vibe as his Rick Rubin-produced debut, Radio, besides this time, the venture’s supervising producer, Russell Simmons, recruited L.A. Posse to put down the beats. What resulted was an aggressive observe that sampled the S.W.A.T theme tune by Rhythm Heritage, Federal Sign Company’s Q2B siren and the observe “Rock the Bells,” from the rapper’s earlier work.

The music video’s storyline, crafted by director Ronaldo Hudson, paid homage to Blaxploitation movies of the '70s and supported the rapper’s want to stretch past the one-dimensional gangster rapper archetype. ''I need to be a gangster and a lover on the identical time, however gangster," he advised The New York Occasions about his picture. “A very good gangster is an individual who has etiquette, who speaks softly however carries a giant stick.''

The music video performed into LL’s duality as each a nasty boy and a savior, as he rescues a kidnapped sufferer, whereas additionally parading round bare-chested saying, “No rapper can rap fairly like I can. I’ll take a muscle-bound man and put his face the sand.” It’s a playful video with an edge. Which complimented the course Cool James was heading: he was a 20-year-old newcomer, signed to the outstanding rap file label — Def Jam — and had a marketable picture. He was the rapper that might make a seamless transition into mainstream Hollywood. "I’m Unhealthy" showcased his potential to be that man.

The album in the end peaked at No. three on the Billboard 200 and went on to promote two million copies. "I’m Unhealthy" hit No. four on the Sizzling Black Singles. Misson achieved.