LL Cool J Remembers How Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys Gave Him His Break

LL Cool J Remembers How Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys Gave Him His Break

Published Thu, July 21, 2022 at 2:34 PM EDT

On a recent episode of ROCK THE BELLS' Salute The Sample, LL COOL J mentioned Ad Rock of the Beastie Boys as the man who gave him his break in the music industry. The episode was focused on Beastie Boys 1994 track "Get It Together" featuring Q-Tip.

"Shout out to Ad Rock, the man who gave me my break," LL Cool J says at one point, nodding along to his verse, before remembering MCA, who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer. Over the years LL has spoken about Ad Rock and his role in LL becoming the first artist signed to Def Jam.

"Ad Rock was the one who gave my demo to [Def Jam Co-founder] Rick Rubin," LL said in a 2020 interview with talk show host Jimmy Fallon. "That's how I got my break. Ad Rock of The Beastie Boys used to hang out with Rick in his dorm room every day, and I sent a tape there - Rick would just throw 'em in the corner in a box with a bunch of other tapes Ad would go through the box when he had nothing to do, he was playing hooky from school. He listened to my tape, he liked it and told Rick to listen to it."

He then talked about Ad Rock's role in his early music. "Ad rock actually made the beat on my first song 'I Need A Beat'," LL recalled. "Rick Produced it, but Ad Rock programmed the drum machine."

LL went on to say that before Ad Rock's version that he himself programmed the beat on a Korg drum machine. "It was similar, but Adam's was definitely better."

Watch the clip above.

Portrait of members of American Rap group Beastie Boys as they pose in front of a mural (by Keith Haring), 1987. Pictured are, from left, Mike D (born Michael Diamond), MCA (born Adam Yauch, 1964 - 2012), and Ad-Rock (born Adam Horovitz)

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