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Mama Said Knock You Out

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Editors’ Notes

Though 1989’s Walking With a Panther saw LL Cool J expanding on the unprecedented commercial success of Bigger and Deffer, it was weighed down by turgid lover man balladry that lost LL a great deal of credibility amongst the core of his fan base. The Marley Marl produced Mama Said Knock You Out stands as a striking return to the hard-hitting aesthetics of Radio. Though Mama Said Knock You Out doesn’t quite embrace the bare bones, rhythm box led assault of the Rick Rubin helmed Radio, Marley Marl provides LL Cool J with a set of simple but masterfully applied breakbeats that must have sounded classicist even in 1990. For his part, LL Cool J proves himself worthy of Marley’s craftsmanship updating his punch line laced braggadocio with a healthy dose of Rakim inspired cadences and a dusting of Slick Rick’s storytelling virtuosity. Even the token slow jam “Around The Way Girl” is boosted by witty innuendos and a sense of neighborhood pride that prevent it from descending to the level of sentimental treacle. Mama Said Knock You Out is one of LL’s finest albums and stands as a reproach to every hard-edged cynic who claimed that LL Cool J couldn’t hold his own without Rick Rubin.

Customer Reviews


This is classic rap. The rhymes and beats are good. LL is one of those rappers who definitely knows what he's talking about. He knows how rhyme. My favorite tracks are Cheesy Rat Blues, Around the Way Girl, and Mama Said Knock You Out. The whole album's worth buying though. So good.

LL Cool J--The Album to own

This is THE ALBUM of LL's that you should own. Forget the rest--look at the best track listing of any albums he has done to date. With the exception of Cheesy Rat Blues and Power of God, this album is a hip-hop classic and should be included in your Top 20. Play this at a party, at least the first 6 songs, and see if the crowd is not groovin and singing along.

LL True Hip Hop

LL shows his excellence in this album with The Boomin System, Power of God, and Jingling Baby this album is worth it!


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 and Deffer,...
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