LL COOL J Performing in NYC

A Look Back At LL COOL J's Album Art

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 - Radio
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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.

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Bigger and Deffer

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."

LL COOL J - Panther
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Walking with a Panther

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."

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Mama Said Knock You Out

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."

LL COOL J - 14 Shots To The Dome
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14 Shots To The Dome

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)".

LL COOL J - Mr Smith
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Mr. Smith

"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 Cover - Phenomenon
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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.

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G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time)

What more can be said: LL COOL J coined the term that would be used throughout pop culture.

LL COOL J - 5000
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LL COOL J made history with 10 when he became the first artist to release ten albums on Def Jam.

LL COOL J Cover - Todd Smith
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Todd Smith

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."

LL COOL J Cover - Rocking
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Exit 13

Exit 13 marked LL COOL J's final album on Def Jam which spanned from 1985 to 2008.

LL COOL J Cover- Authentic
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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."


photo gallery

A Look Back At LL COOL J's Album Art

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