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LL Cool J Recorded ‘30 to 40 Songs’ With Dr. Dre Before Asking Q-Tip to Executive Produce Upcoming Album
LL Cool J originally tapped Dr. Dre as executive producer of his upcoming album before switching to Q-Tip because of seeing Phife Dawg in a dream.
The universe got involved with the final decision for executive producer on LL Cool J’s new album. The Queens-born rap veteran recently visited iHeart radio show Way Up With Angela Yeewhere he explained that Dr. Dre was originally tapped to oversee the LP before making the switch to Q-Tip.
“So, the real story is that I did about 30 to 40 songs with Dr. Dre, and in doing those songs I felt like — the music was amazing what Dre was bringing to the table was super dope — but I felt like the writing, what I was bringing to these songs didn’t feel strong enough to me,” LL explained.
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“I didn’t feel like I was expressing, I was getting out of me, what I was feeling. In my mind, I didn’t feel like it was written properly.”
LL, legal name James Todd Smith, went on to recall a dream where he was visited by the late Phife Dawg, which gave him the idea to reach out to Phife’s fellow A Tribe Called Quest member Q-Tip.
“So, I took a pause. Me and Dre just kinda paused for a minute. And I ended up having a dream, and in this dream Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest came to me,” he added. “When he came in my dream he was like ‘Yo, that album you gonna do with Dre is gonna be dope.’ And I’m looking at him and he’s smirking a little bit.
He continued, “He [Phife] had a funny look on his face. And then when I woke up, I just felt like Q-Tip was on my spirit. So I just called him. He picked up and I told him that I wanted to do an album. We went and did the record and the rest is history.”
Although Smith prefers not to call the album a “comeback,” the currently-untitled project marks his first LP in a decade, also set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. This summer, Smith will also headline hip-hop tour The F.O.R.C.E. (Frequencies of Real Creative Energy) Live, his first arena tour in 30 years.
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