RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, August 21

EWA100 - #25. LL Cool J - Rock The Bells

25. LL Cool J - Rock The Bells (Def Jam. 1985. From the LP Radio)

Raven Mack: My father was a small engine mechanic blessed with a seventh grade education. I grew up pretty smart in them schoolings, which always caused great internal tension for me, not because he hated on that shit, but because for most of the time, since I could do book reports but not pour a splash of gas into a riding mower's carburetor to trick it into starting, I always assumed my dad thought I was a homo, or destined to be a homo. This caused a lot of reckless behavior in my more immature years, trying to prove to him how non-gay I was, and probably to myself too, because with drunken him as my only father figure, reading books for leisure at like age sixteen made me question if I wasn't a fag. Seriously.
Luckily, I'm old enough now and content enough in the fact that man-love is not stimulating to me sexually that I know I'm not gay, at least not sexually. So I don't worry about that shit. Plus, my dad's dead too, because fortysomething year old hearts aren't inclined to handle weekend-long meth binges on the regular. But back then (when hot hoes didn't want me, making me question my homosexuality even more), I had to pay attention to a lot of stupid shit to not add fuel to my paranoia that pops thought I liked dicks. This means I didn't really rock much LL Cool J. Dude never wore a shirt and was always flaunting action figure abs, and bragging on his dick prowess, even kicking it that LL was short for "ladies love". If my dad thought I was a fag and I was dancing around my lavendar-walled bedroom with the myrrh incense burning to that type of shit, pops would've sent me to one of those Christian re-education camps. Actually, he wouldn't have, because we never went to church and also we were broke. So he would've kicked my ass.
I do understand, in retrospect, the awesomeness of LL's early works, especially that first album, which was probably one of the more pure hip hop outputs from Def Jam's early superstar marketing R-n-R (Russell and Rick) success stories. But to be honest, my favorite song off that record is "Dear Yvette", because it's such an obviously not gay song. Unless I pretend I'm a pre-op transsexual called Yvette while listening to it masturbating, which I did one time. But I didn't achieve orgasm, further proving I'm not actually gay, although if I was a pre-op tranny, that would mean I felt I was a woman, so if I felt I was a woman then thinking about men wouldn't be gay, would it? Hard to say. It's a fucked-up world with explanations for every stupid shit you can think of. I long for a simpler time like my dad grew up in where homos were homos and regular dudes were regular dudes. (Man, if my dad was still alive to see me writing retarded word patterns about the jungle music for overweight shut-ins and social malcontents to maybe catch a laugh off of, he'd totally start thinking I was a homo again, regardless of how many more kids I make to go with the three or four I've got already.)

Mike Dikk: When I was a little kid, I wanted to be LL Cool J so bad. He seemed like such a cool guy. My friend’s sister had a door size poster of him hanging up in here room. It’s the poster where he’s wearing all his TROOP gear, just standing there looking all bad ass. I think I liked him so much because he was the first rapper I heard that was really aggressive and straight forward. Unlike Raven, I never thought about the implications that by liking LL so much I may be a secret gay.
In all fairness, I’m pretty certain when I would stare longingly at that Door Sized poster, I didn’t even know what a gay was. My hazy self-timeline places me and my LL poster obsession around 7 or 8 years of age. I didn’t see my first soft core porn until I was at least 9, and that was most likely the first time I realized girls could be gay for each other, since every soft core porno has the obligatory girl on girl scene. I do remember that day vividly though. It was late at night on a Friday and my Mom wasn’t home yet because she was a bartender at the time. It started at 11:30 PM which seemed super late back then. The name of the movie was called “Learning To Fly” and it was one of those badly filmed euro soft core porns that Cinemax Late Night was so fond of. I remember I kept getting up to get drinks of water because I couldn’t control myself and my stubby little boner. The only scene I remember from “Learning to Fly” was some hairy dude fucking a girl in a pool.
So by 9, I knew that at least girls could like each other and kiss without instantly going to Hell. At that point, I still didn’t even know where the entrance to the vagina was. I thought it was somewhere in the bush section, and you would just lie on a girl flat and stick your penis in her bush and that was sex. It wasn’t until I was about 11 or 12 that I saw a for real porno, and my life was changed forever.
I also remember that day vividly. I was playing G.I. Joes with my friend Kenny. The same friend who’s sister had the LL Cool J poster. We were having a great time playing dolls in his living room while no one was home. Then he told me to hold on a second and he went into his Dad’s room. He came out with a video tape and put it in the VCR.. The first thing that popped on the screen was a dude fucking the stuffing out of this blonde girl outside on a picnic blanket. It was odd, because I remember there was a close up shot of her asshole and it appeared there was a bunch of saliva around it and I thought that was kind of gross. The most important thing I learned on that day was where the entrance to the vagina was, and sex had a lot more mechanics to it than I ever imagined. Sadly, once the tape was over, we didn’t feel like playing G.I. Joes anymore, and I don’t think we ever played G. I. Joes again.
I’d guess that sometime around then is when I learned dudes could be gay for each other. I’ve still never seen a gay porno. The closest thing would be when they’d have those commercials for those 900 numbers on the VHS before the actual porno movie started in the 90’s, and every once in a while, they’d sneak in an ad for a gay number as if you accidentally bought the wrong porn and you were really searching for gay stuff, but those ads would have a dude blowing another dude and I’d have to fast forward real quick as to escape the gay before I turned into a gay.
Now I’m old and I have gay friends just like your average forward thinking aging hipster, and I still believe you can only become gay by trickery. Like if you stare at two dudes blowing each other for long enough, you will become a gay, or even if you take too big of an interest in football, you will probably start getting unexplained boners in your pants anytime you hear Peyton Manning call an audible.
The only thing that keeps me from being gay is that everyday when I wake up, I tell myself that I should avoid doing anything gay today at all costs, and it usually works. I mean, sometimes when I’m watching wrestling, I slip up and find myself rubbing the crotch area of my jeans a little too suggestively, but don’t we all?
Anyway, I had a point somewhere in here. Oh yeah. Perhaps if I discovered LL Cool J when I was 13 or 14, I would have turned into a gay, but since I was only like 8, I’m in the clear, though now that I’ve fleshed out this whole scenario, I’ll never be able to listen to LL again.

Download: LL Cool J - Rock The Bells

Youtube is telling me there was no original video for "Rock The Bells". I'm kidn of surprised by that. There is virtually no interesting Youtube clips featuring LL Cool J, so here's a little interview with Def Jam artists (including LL) from 1986:

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