Friday, August 23, 2013

Hip Hop Nostalgia 101, Session 12: LL Cool J - Bigger And Deffer (Back to 1987)

I want to begin by apologizing to you for forgetting to do this session on LL Cool J's second album to close out 1987. I was likely busy with some things, including this very blog, so please blame my mind and not my heart for this one.

After his 1985 debut "Radio" put his name out there in a major way, LL would only get bigger, better, and deffer from there, and he sets out to make a statement with this sophomore album, and trust me, it wouldn't be the first (or last) time either. How does this hold up today, especially compared to "Radio?" Let's go back down memory lane!!!

Release date- June 2, 1987

All songs produced by L.A. Posse and DJ Pooh

1. I'm Bad

 Oh man, this CLASSIC brings back SO many memories it's not even funny. This is possibly my favorite LL song of all time. You simply couldn't deny the energy this man had at the time (ANOTHER thing that's missing from hip hop today) and the title suits this song just perfectly.
Grade- A+

2. Kanday

 LL started a trend here by naming a certain female "kanday," and it would go further from here! He did it so well that everyone else would start doing it, and it won't be the last time I say that about a song on this album.
Grade- A+

3. Get Down

This apply titled banger will most certainly make you "get down." I might have this one played at a future birthday party of mine, LOL!
 Grade- A+

4. The Bristol Hotel

It all goes down at this spot, and leave it to LL to talk about another certain female, who not only gets down at this same spot, but will do any and everything for the almighty dollar, and food stamps too, lol.
Grade- B

5. My Rhyme Ain't Done

The storytelling was still on full display at this point of the album, as LL tells a number of short stories and just when you think it's over, he continues. Come to think about it, I don't think this has ever been done again since. Good stuff.
Grade- A+

6. 357 - Break It On Down

Another dope jam, dope lyrics, and a bass driven track.
Grade- A

7. Go Cut Creator Go

One thing we got a lot of in the 80s was an artist (or artists) biggin up their DJ, and LL indeed does that on this rock infused track.
Grade- A

8. The Breakthrough
I would say this one is more or less a somewhat brief, unofficial part 2 version of "I'm Bad." Still very good for the most part.
Grade- B+

9. I Need Love

Remember when I said towards the end of "Kanday" that LL started something and did it so well that other artists would eventually jump on board? Well, this right here is that in a complete nutshell. LL pioneered the "hip hop ballad" and it's arguably the best of them all. For sheer historical significance, plus I like the song a lot, I'll go the full monty on this one.
Grade- A+

10. Ahh, Let's Get Ill

LL does indeed get ill on this jam, cold made to rock a party or two.
Grade- B+

11. The Do Wop

No, this was not a dance, lol. Actually, not only is LL still in storytelling mode here, but the beat is dope, blending hip hop and the very old school "do wop" sounds playing the background. 
Grade- B+

12. On The Ill Tip
This is an outro.

LL was still in top form coming off of "Radio," as history has judged this album as a classic. "I'm Bad" and "I Need Love" are undisputed classics, and while the rest of "BAD" is mostly solid, it's nowhere near the level of "Radio" in my view. Although LL would get bigger and better from here, his career would change a bit, but I'll cover that more once I get to 1989. Overall, a 1987 classic, and it was a double platinum success.

Final Grade- A

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