October 10, 2005

LL Cool J - Phenomenon

Def Jam / 14.10.97

Size: 71.22 MB

1. Phenomenon
2. Candy
3. Starsky & Hutch
4. Another Dollar
5. Nobody Can Freak You
6. Hot, Hot, Hot
7. 4, 3, 2, 1
8. Wanna Get Paid
9. Father
10. Don't Be Late, Don't Come Too Soon

LL handles the mic confidently, almost too confidently, on Phenomenon, his seventh album. Whether he's going on about a messed-up father-figure, working on the ladies ("Nobody Can Freak You," "Phenomenon"), or "making a rhyme with every syllable of your name" ("4,3,2,1"), you can't help but feel like he's just selling you something. LL has built himself up considerably from the skinny punk rocking the bells in '85 to a true celebrity phenomenon, but somewhere on that journey he lost his soul. Strangely, the best tracks on the album employ guest vocalists like Busta Rhymes (on "Starsky & Hutch"), Cannibus and Method Man (both on "4,3,2,1"), where the guests unintentionally feel like the voices of ghosts, reminding LL of what it was like when rap music sold the beats and lyrics, instead of breakfast cereal and khakis.



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