LL Cool J – Bigger and Deffer

LL Cool J released his second studio album “Bigger and Deffer” on May 29, 1987.  The album was produced by LL Cool J, L.A. Posse and DJ Pooh and was released on Def Jam/Columbia Records.

The first time I heard “I’m Bad“, I was 16 years old and went to the store looking for “Cool J Cookies“.  I never found them, but as soon as the album dropped and went to record store to pick up the album. I remember looking at the cover and staring at his Troops like, “I gotta get those”.  As soon as I got home I dropped the needle on track one, I hear the “Theme from S.W.A.T.” come in and I was hooked.  Using the bass from a cartoon series, “Courageous Cat Theme Song” LL goes to work to bring us some of the most memorable lyrics in Hip hop history.

Aaaahhhhhhhhhh
No rapper can rap quite like I can
I’ll take a musclebound man and put his face in the sand
Not the last Mafioso I’m a MC cop
Make you say “Go LL,” and do the wop
If you think you can outrhyme me, yeah boy I bet
Cause I ain’t met a motherfucker who can do that yet
Trendsetter I’m better my rhymes are good
I got a gold nameplate that says I wish you would

Before the album dropped, me and my dad were in Los Angeles visiting my grandma when I first heard “I Need Love“.  As soon as I heard it thought it was the corniest song I had ever heard and could not believe that it was a Cool J song!  Right when the song ends, we get this,

Girl, listen to me. When I be sitting in my room all alone, staring at the wall
Fantasies, they go through my mind, and I’ve come to realize that I need true love
And if you wanna give it to me, girl, make yourself seen. I’ll be waiting
I love you

After a while though, it grows on you!  It was so dope that I would even here DJ’s put it in their mixes!  It was so popular it was even heard on pop radio.

Back in the day, rappers didn’t curse as much as they do know and a lot of the word play was “tongue and cheek”.  “Kanday” is a girl that LL loves more than “Now and Laters, gum drops and jelly beans“.  Over a boom-bap track, LL explains to us why Kanday is that girl that just have to see to believe and if you can get her in your bedroom, well…you know!

I’m feelin gooder than good, if you wouldn’t I would
If you could, I know you could, she’s kickin back in the hood
When she starts to get off she can knock off a cough
I know ‘cough’ don’t rhyme with ‘boss’, but she made me her boss
She’s the talk of my room whenever I’m in my room
My little brother loves her more than his favorite cartoon
Her body’s bad, the girl’s built, skin like silk
Wet, steamy and warm just like a hot cup of milk

Continuing the sex talk, LL introduces us to “The Bristol Hotel” where you can get anything you want for a price of course.  If you need directions and a room #, all you have to remember is the hook.  “(Bristol Hotel) Room 515 (The Bristol Hotel) Where that at? (Jamaica, Queens!)“.

I seen her standin’ there, slutty as could be
Offering the putty for a itty-bitty fee
Every red light she’ll come over to your ride
Or she’s standin’ in the doorway tellin’ you to come inside
The Bristol Hotel, cos it ain’t no thing
And her meat tastes better than Burger King
Japanese executives in three-piece suits
Glasses all foggy when they come in the place
The girlies in the Bristol, they’re all in cahoots
He fell asleep and got robbed, and cold chumped his face at the…

After listening to “Get Down“, you start to wonder if this album is better than the first. In my opinion, it is.  I remember how much DJ’s would play this song over and over again and juggle the part where he say, “G, G, G, G, G, G Get…”

Down, to the rhythm that’ll rock the walls
Cold sportin’ Air Jordans, and I’m on the ball
Don’t lack and I’m black but I’m not Lou Rawls
Disappeared for a year now I’m back y’all
So get down with me, entrepreneur of funk
Not a sloppy fat punk or a Shaolin Monk
Ain’t down with Johnny Cousin know as use at a jam
So the hell with Ed McMahon and Tom Macan
JVC is the box, Farmers is the street
Soundin’ hungry over beats, that’s why I always eat
Up to you to guess who’s rockin’ the funky sound
If you don’t know never mind come on and get down

How do you take a classic Rock & Roll track and make it funky and hip again?  LA Posse took “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry to pay homage to his DJ plus talk about his early adventures on his way to becoming the Prince of Hip Hop.  “Go Cut Creator Go” is that perfect song to start Side 2 with.  Moreover, he raps over the track like he’s Chuck Berry himself!  The beginning of the track takes “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets and puts a Hip Hop feel to it.  It’s almost as if it’s an homage to Rock & Roll more than anything else.  

1, 2, 3 ‘o’ clock 4 ‘o’ clock ROCK
5, 6, 7 ‘o’ clock 8 ‘o’ clock ROCK
9, 10, 11 ‘o’ clock 12 ‘o’ clock ROCK
Gonna ROCK (What?) ROCK, ROCK around the clock
Three years ago in St. Albans, Queens
I was rockin at a park called one eighteen
Little kids stood and watched as I rocked the spot
Didn’t know years later I’ll be standin on top
Live in Farmers Boulevard I was born in Bayshore
Stopped the rich and shaked hands with the poor
And this is a story about a brother I know
Cut Creator on the fader, now watch him go

One of my favorite LL songs appears on this album.  “The Doo Wop” has LL flowing over a doo-wop song from the 50’s, The Moonglow’sOver and Over Again“.  This is LL doing his storytelling about a day that starts off waking up, going to get a bite to eat, meeting a honey, doing a show and then waking up from the dream.

We jumped in my ride, I took a peek at the time
It was almost 7:30 and the show was at nine
L.L. Cool J will soon stand at a jam
With thousands of people screamin, “Touch my hand!”
But since I had a hour plus a half attached
I was searchin for the cutie who’s my perfect match
Her name was Renee, her face was okay
But she had the kinda body that made Jay wanna play
I said, “No need to rehearse,” then I made my approach
Said, “You got a good team, girl, but you need a new coach”

This album is LL’s best.  No joke!  The album works for 2 reasons.  First of all, the production of the LA Posse (and DJ Pooh) is flawless.  The beats are crisp and sound totally different from what we heard from the debut.  It’s not that the first album sucked, it’s just that this album takes more chances production wise.  The second reason is LL himself and how diverse he is with his rhymes.  He slows it down and speeds it up and flows perfectly over every beat.  Michael Jackson later that year released his album “Bad“, but we all knew who he go his idea from.  Maybe or maybe not, but who’s going to want to argue with me when we all love that Hip hop shit?

-Al E.

 

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