With thirteen studio albums and two greatest hits compilations, Rock The Bells takes a look at back at LL COOL J's career through his album art
LL COOL J's debut album, Radio, helped to define mainstream Hip-Hop. Produced by Jazzy Jay and Rick Ruben, Radio was a Billboard success, selling over 500,000 copies.
Released in 1987, Bigger and Deffer peaked at #3 on the Billboard200, and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and sold over 3 million copies thanks to the success of the first Hip-Hop ballad, "I Need Love."
In speaking with Rock The Bells about Walking with a Panther's perception in the media, LL COOL J said, "I definitely had a chip on my shoulder and I was disappointed about the critical response. I felt people were mischaracterizing the album cover and the vibe, and didn't understand that we were celebrating success. They looked at the diamonds, jewelry, and cars as a sign of me being disconnected. When in reality, I was just living out my hustler dreams and that's just what I always wanted to do. And that was just how a young Black man displayed his success. I was more connected than ever. I was just running with the hustlers and hanging out and vibing."
Released in 1990, LL COOL J's 4th studio album peaked at #16 on Billboard charts and produced four hit singles: "The Boomin' System", "Around the Way Girl", "6 Minutes of Pleasure", and title track, "Mama Said Knock You Out."
Released in 1993, LL COOL J's 5th studio album peaked at #5 on the USBillboard200 and #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. 14 Shots To The Dome produced the following singles: "How I'm Comin'", "Pink Cookies In a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings", "Stand By Your Man" and "Back Seat (of My Jeep)".
"Mr. Smith," LL COOL's sixth studio album, debuted #20 on the Billboard200 and #2 on the 4 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Mr. Smith has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
LL COOL J linked up with Diddy and The Hitmen on his seventh studio album, Phenomenon, which famously featured the posse cut, "4,3,2,1," which ignited the legendary beef with Canibus.
What more can be said: LL COOL J coined the term that would be used throughout pop culture.
LL COOL J made history with 10 when he became the first artist to release ten albums on Def Jam.
Todd Smith was LL COOL J's third album in a five-year period. The samples were crazy on this one: Afrika Bambaataa's Looking for the Perfect Beat,” Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature," and Donny Hathaway’s “You’ve Got a Friend."
Exit 13 marked LL COOL J's final album on Def Jam which spanned from 1985 to 2008.
Authentic marked the collaboration between the GOAT and Eddie Van Halen. Upon the rock god's passing, LL COOL J said, "Authentic was one of those projects where I took the gloves off. I did all kinds of crazy music, all kinds of collaborations, and different genres. I remember reading a critic's writing: 'Yo, this guy forgot he's arapper. I felt like, 'Yo, I didn't forget I was a rapper. I just remembered I'm an artist.'I went after it that way. I think it's some of my coolest and most interesting work. I think those songs that Eddie and I did together are really special. I think that one day, they will rise. They will get the recognition and the admiration that they deserve."