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Phenomenon

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Album Review

Mr. Smith was the third comeback for LL Cool J, the third time he returned to commercial and creative strengths after being written off by many critics and fans. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that its follow-up, Phenomenon, finds LL coasting — after all, after his two previous comeback albums, he allowed himself to slacken the pace a little bit and ride on his credentials. Fortunately, Phenomenon isn't nearly as weak as 14 Shots to the Dome or Bigger and Deffer, but it simply doesn't have the power of masterpieces like Radio and Mama Said Knock You Out. Essentially, it's a retread of Mr. Smith, offering the same laid-back soul jams and rolling party beats. There's a couple of killer singles, a few dogs, and a lot of filler — more so than on Mr. Smith, in fact. Still, Phenomenon sounds good when it's playing, and even if it doesn't leave a lasting impression, it's a solid, professional effort that illustrates why LL is still in the game, 12 years after his first record.

Customer Reviews

could be better

Another Review from me, since i love real hip hop i gotta quote thiz ablum...not such a great ablum for him therez only three songz that deserve some serious ear play...(literally) like 4,3,2,1 itz ground thumpin beatz murder the track (THATZ A GOOD THING) Father iz a serious understanding of LL past with his father who abuse him when he waz young and shot hiz grandparentz..and of course Phenomenon waz a radio air play but i dont know the beatz make it last longer...not that i listen to beatz but u gotta pay attention to it.....

hot

yo this is a hot album...4,3,2,1 is so sick

An important record

Only reason I'm giving this album props is because of "4,3,2,1". This track inspired one of the best rap battles ever - Canibus vs LL. Honestly, other than that track, this album was worthless. Just my opinion.

Biography

Born: January 14, 1968 in Bay Shore, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Hip-hop is notorious for short-lived careers, but LL Cool J is the inevitable exception that proves the rule. Releasing his first hit, "I Can't Live Without My Radio," in 1985 when he was just 17 years old, LL initially was a hard-hitting, streetwise b-boy with spare beats and ballistic rhymes. He quickly developed an alternate style, a romantic — and occasionally sappy — lover's rap epitomized by his mainstream breakthrough single, "I Need Love." LL's first two albums, Radio and Bigger...
Full Bio