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Saturday, November 15, 2014

LL COOL J - "Soul Survivor" [Original Dr. Butcher Mix] (1993)

Oh shit, Robbie Etchelson's Unkut page continues to be one of the best sites on the net, always coming through with brilliant lost tracks and terrific interviews with true hip-hop legends. LL Cool J's "14 Shots to the Dome" album from 1993 received a lot of lackluster interviews, but over the years have gained somewhat of a cult following and is personally one of my favorite LL albums - and his  next to last classic album ("Mr. Smith" is the final one). Marley Marl produced some incredible hardcore joints on there, K-Def contributed the incredible "Funkadelic Relic" with Lords of the Underground as well as the equally impressibe "Year Of The Hip-Hop" which unfortunately didn't make the final album and didn't surface for the first time until about two years ago on a limited 10" single. Add to that the strangely underrated producer Bobcat's three contributions which were all absolute fire, including one of LL's best songs of all time - the mighty album coser "Crossroads". The songs that mostly dragged down the album a bit was QDIII's contributions - not because QD is a weak producer by any means but they just didn't sound very good next to the other, more hardcore oriented joints found on the LP: 

Dr. Butcher revealed in an Unkut interview a couple of years ago that he and his production partner C4 actually was responsible for the original version of "Soul Survivor" which to me sounds a lot better in the context of the album than the clean sound of QDIII's remix found on the album. Click here to head over to Unkut and read the excerpt from the Butcher interview touching on this original mix. I've searched a lot for this version but never without any luck, but here it finally is courtesy of Unkut, and though the sound quaity leaves a lot to be desired this is a mindblowing listen to anyone in love with the album and early LL. Be sure to also check my article about what' I find so great about my love for "14 Shots" which also includes a little six track EP compilation covering outtakes and sounds recorded around the same year/era. 'Nuff talk, turn that volume up LOUD and bang your head to some classic LL. Much thanks to Robbie and Unkut for this gem!

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