I Need Love

As my regular readers are well aware, I have spent the last few weeks attempting to gravitate closer and closer toward the world of mainstream top-40 radio in my own work. This week, I take that experience to its logical extreme, directly covering a smash hit, albeit a smash hit from 1987 — L.L. Cool J’s “I Need Love,” widely considered the first rap ballad.

Many books about making it in the “industry” alert you to the necessity of enlisting the best talent your budget can afford. In the case of this week’s product, I decided to bet the farm. I simulated the original track as well as I could, and then I took out a $20,000 small-business loan from Chase Bank and sought out the most ubiquitous MC in Chicagoland: MC Beth Simpson of Naperville. MC Beth was the runner-up in the 1998 Schaumburg District 12 Rap-Off, as well as the official planner of the 2005 Wal-Mart Midwestern Rap Emporium.

In this case, I must say, I made out like a bandit. I gave MC Beth a flat fee of $20,000, and then I had her sign a contract that waived all rights to future royalties! I was surprised that an industry insider like MC Beth would go for such a deal, but hey, I wasn’t complaining. Since this track will surely generate millions in receipts, I will probably see MC Beth in court someday. Luckily, she does not know about this blog. (Please don’t tell her.) As the song says, “This whole experience has been such a revelation!”

14 Responses to “I Need Love”
  1. The Bubble King says:


  2. KatiaSilver says:

    I was at the 2005 Wal-Mart Midwestern Rap Emporium! What a show.
    Does MC Beth know about Lady Flip? I’ve followed Flip’s career more closely, but there are some subtle similarities. It’s the smoothness, I think.
    You really got a bargain.

  3. Lara says:

    I must say, she is GOOD!

    Good ear, KatiaSilver. You can say that soul runs through the blood of MC
    Beth, considering she is Lady Flip’s great-grandaughter. (Although an extreme rivalry exists between the two. Rumor has it Lady Flip’s alleged romantic tie to LL Cool J has caused MC Beth much distress, as her career has consisted of nothing but LL Cool J covers in an effort to get his attention). Lady Flip refuses to put her talented great-granddaughter in touch with LL. Rightfully so, as MC Beth’s talent and beauty are likely to steal any man’s heart.

  4. detholz says:

    This reminds me of when LL Cool J actually PLAYED Lady Macbeth incognito in the Texas Star Theater’s 1990 contemporary staging of “Macbeth,” entitled “Big Mac Gotta Fall.”

    The pinnacle of his performance was when, dressed in drag as a female shift manager at “Scotty’s Chicken Shack,” LL riffs freestyle while vigorously rubbing a grease stain on of his apron, in a sing-song falsetto:

    “Get ‘da FUCK out! (Get ‘da hell OUT!) Get ‘da FUCK out! (Get ‘da hell OUT!)” etc.

  5. KatiaSilver says:

    Aint nobody playin lady MC Beth.

  6. Abraham says:

    Cheers on the lively discussion everyone.

    BB King and James: Thanks for your affirmations.

    Kat Sil and Lara: Yes, it’s all true about the rivalry between Flip and MC Beth. What’s really impressive is that a great-grandmother can exude such a powerful attractive force. It’s quite a special family… often referred to as the “First Family” of Schaumburg hip-hop.

    Detholz: I can’t believe you saw that show! For months, I have been searching YouTube for clips of the Scotty’s Chicken Shack falsetto showstopper. I heard that there wasn’t a dry seat in the house.

    Kat Sil: Agreed in principle… except that I DID play lady MC Beth, getting her to lay down this awesome vocal take for a mere twenty grand.

  7. You played her all right! Like a FIDDLE! To make another corny music-related metaphor, I’d also say that you got her for a SONG: one verse, no chorus!

  8. H Carl says:

    Holy crap!

    …At the risk of ruining the conciseness of this email: I am in awe of detholz entire comment. I can’t breathe.

    Also, do I detect the producer chuckling in the background of the lady MCBeth’s vocal track?

  9. Jon Y. says:

    Dear Abe — where might I find the winners of the District 12 Rap-Off *since* 1998? Have they all gone on to such renowned careers as MC Beth?

  10. Abraham says:

    P M S: And may the whole world sing along!

    H Carl: I agree that the detholz comment is one of the finest in this blog’s long and storied history. As to your other point: the producer did not utter a single chuckle for the entire duration of the recording session. That was lady MC Beth herself, chuckling at what a “great deal” she got with her twenty grand up-front fee.

    J Y: Check out http://www.geocities.com/members/d12rapoff/schaumberg.htm/images/winners.xtm.

  11. Judah says:

    I remember finding this song kind of pathetic in LL’s hands. Here, irresistibly sexy. I this MC.

  12. Judah says:

    That was meant to read I *HEART* this MC.

  13. Abraham says:

    Yes, MC Beth is definitely an MC worth “HEART”ing!!! She needs only one take, every time. Well worth the twenty grand.

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