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Time to go back to the 80s to get our "Krush Groove" on for today's SoundTRAX!

Artists like Sheila E., The Fat Boys, and Run-D.M.C standing around a white car.
Warner Bros.

The "Krush Groove" soundtrack features lots of popular rap, soul, R&B, and pop artists of the era.

Today is another prime example of how you don't have to love a movie to appreciate the soundtrack. But having said that, sometimes the movie is such big, dumb, pop cultural fun, you kind of get sucked in.

The year was 1985 and the movie was Krush Groove, a movie that was inspired by the formation of the iconic record label Def Jam and soon-to-be-famous producers Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, yet gives new meaning to the words "loosely based." I mean really, really loose.

Simmons was renamed Russell Walker in the film and since he was also co-producer and story consultant, he conveniently and generously cast handsome Blair Underwood to play himself.

Def Jam was also renamed "Krush Groove" in the film, which signs artists like Run-DMC and Kurtis Blow, all of whom appear in the film.

And that absolutely is the fun of the movie: watching 80s icons like Sheila E., New Edition, Beastie Boys, and The Fat Boys interact. Simmons and Rubin also have cameos, as well as an uncredited Chris Rock.

So when it comes to the music, you know fans of 80s rap, soul, R&B, and pop will be happy.

Except for the fact that a few tunes in the movie are missing from the soundtrack.

The Sheila E. classic "A Love Bizarre" is replaced on the compilation by the much weaker "Holly Rock," even though both are written or co-written by Prince. Maybe he made that decision.

And despite the guys actually being in the movie, Run-DMC's "King of Rock", "It's Like That", "Can You Rock It Like This" and "You're Blind" play in the film, but are absent from the compilation. The trio only show up as part of an all-star jam on the last song.

But you still get a soundtrack featuring the likes of the aforementioned Kurtis Blow, Beastie Boys and Fat Boys, as well as Chaka Khan, The Gap Band, Debbie Harry, and Force MD's.

But for today's SoundTRAX selection I'm going with a song from a young rapper's 1985 debut album that was, yes, on the Def Jam label and written and co-produced by Rick Rubin.

From Krush Groove, it's LL Cool J with "I Can't Live Without My Radio."

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10 a.m.

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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