CookBook Loves the '80s… and So Do I


Jason Soto, aka CookBook of LA Symphony, has finally released his solo masterpiece, I Love the 80’s. You may know CookBook as part of the duo Cook and Uno, along with Uno Mas from the LA Symphony (their 2008 release The Overflow LP is available for free download at You may know him from his work on LA Symphony releases or his work with our rappers and artists. Or… you may not know him at all. Any way you slice it, this is the best time for you to delve into the world of CookBook.


You don’t need to be an LA Symph fan like me to enjoy this album. Hell, you don’t even need to be a child of the 80’s… although that certainly enhances the experience as this entire record is laden with 80’s references and samples or quality 80’s music.

Before I present my highlights and favorite parts of the album, I’ll start with CookBook’s sound and delivery. As far as the music goes, it’s chock full or new wave loops and soundtrack tunes from our favorite 80’s movies. Cook samples Peter Gabriel, The Smiths, U2, Thompson Twins, and others on top of catchy backbeats. The samples are not what most would expect to hear on a hip hop record, but there is still mainstream hip hop appeal here.

As for Cook’s delivery and flow, I must admit I’m no expert. Justin Chandler over at Rap Reviews compares him to Asher Roth in terms of “nasal vocals and delivery”. Not sure I agree, but he’s right on the somewhat nasal vocal style, which is something that sets him apart from the generic rappers out there. His delivery reminds me a bit of others in LA Symph, but I guess that’s just because they have a lot of influence on each other’s styles.

Now on to my favorite tracks, highlighting three specifically. “Molly Ringwald” is a fun, love song about the perfect woman… and who here hasn’t had a crush on Molly? “The Huxtables” is a powerful, heartfelt song about Soto’s upbringing that samples “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. And the closing track (also my favorite), named after one of my favorite childhood movies, “Neverending Story”, samples The Smiths’ “Girlfriend in a Coma” and has a great guest appearance by Souldado.

There are tons of clever lyrics filled with clever references, a few appearances by friends, funny clips from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and an intro featuring a robot. To me, that’s a recipe for a great album. Mix it up with a few tracks that hit deep with real life issues that Soto faced growing up and that is what I Love the 80’s is all about.

And, make sure to listen to “Inner Space”, another of my favorites. The track samples the hook from “Money for Nothing and Chicks for Free” by Dire Straits and features deep lyrics about spiritual warfare.


~ by thepaintedman on June 12, 2009.

14 Responses to “CookBook Loves the '80s… and So Do I”

  1. […] the original post here: CookBook Loves the ’80s… and So Do I Share and […]

  2. […] swordplay, battles, and adventures, his characters are involved in spiritual warfare, as the old CookBook Loves the ’80s… and So Do I – 06/12/2009 thepaintedman rates this:Jason Soto, aka CookBook of LA […]

  3. Great review! Thanks! Almost perfectly on point with calling the samples! On “Inner Space”, it’s actually “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” and not “Money For Nothing”…but you get much respect for calling out the Thompson Twins one!!! I just realized why you thought it was that song!!! “I want my MTV…” ;-)

  4. BTW… “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” is by The Police…

  5. I hear it now. Now that I think of it, do you think Dire Straits was emulating The Police with their hook?

  6. could be! that’s a great question! They’ll never fess up to it though!!!!

  7. […] CookBook was so kind as to do an interview with me for this site. We conducted the interview via email, as I am lazy and hate transcribing interviews. Here is the interview, CookBook apologized for being long winded, while I think his answers are great and help us get a little look into the life and times of Jason “CookBook” Soto. […]

  8. Thanks for linking the Cook & Uno project.

    We’re ready a bit early for the “I Love the 80’s” project if you couldn’t wait until the 23rd:

  9. […] CookBook’s I Love the 80’s is officially out on Tuesday. Don’t forget to get your copy… it’s […]

  10. hmm.. amazing :)

  11. […] and check out this jam from Cookbook, Uno, and the rest of LA Symph before you head […]

  12. […] 10. CookBook – Neverending Story (Read all about this hotness here) […]

  13. […] remix of CookBook’s “Solid Gold” off of the LA Symph alumn’s newest album I Love the 80’s. That’s right, a contest where you can show you remixing chops. Here’s the […]

  14. […] While You Wait For His New Joint…/strong> 1.0 ReTread […]

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