8 April, 2010@2:58 am
We’re starting to really love writing the For Promotional Use Only section here, a new section of the site where we examine pieces of hip-hop memorabilia from the past, present, and future. We’ve got a lot of weird shit in our collections, and this week’s entry is a real headcracker.
This is a Japanese 7″ vinyl single for L.L. Cool J’s “I Need Love” b/w “I’m Bad” from 1987. Let’s see, that would make Def Jam about three years old about that point. At that time, still an indie label, they had to outsource the production of the overseas versions of their releases, such as this record, manufactured in Japan by CBS/Sony Music, which features probably the most racist depiction of L.L. Cool J outside of the Ku Klux Klan newsletter that year.
We don’t actually think there was some nefarious Black-people-hating-Japanime-artist rubbing his hands together when he did this – as a matter of fact – this type of depiction is pretty common in Japanese manga, just take a look at Dragonball Z’s Mr. Po Po. Compared to that, this looks pretty tame. Despite potential controversy, we like how Anime James Todd Smith hits the dude in the face with the comic-book sound effect “Boam!”. Cars ride by with the boamin’ system.
We wonder if L.L. has even ever seen this? Was Russell face-palming when the shipment arrived that day at his apartment? We’re sure there is more history to this little seen item than we know.
Racist or not? Sound off in the comments section below.
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