A couple weeks ago, Kodiak Starr, whose father organized a performance by LL Cool J at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, in 1985, uploaded old VHS footage of the concert to YouTube. And it is a thing to behold: Cool James was just 17, and hip-hop had not exactly permeated the cultural life of southern Maine. LL Cool J provides an educational demonstration of scratching and beatboxing for his audience, who appear at points somewhat perplexed.
Cool J was still a few months away from releasing his first album. Starr, who is now Creative Director for Digital Strategy at the White House, says that Cool J was paid $500 for the set, and adds in a comment that his dad tried to get Run DMC, but they were too expensive.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.