LL Cool J – Walking With A Panther Anniversary

LL Cool J released his third studio album “Walking With a Panther” on June 9 1989 off Def Jam Records, with production by Rick Rubin, The Bomb Squad, Dwayne Simon and LL himself.  The album contains some of LL’s greatest cuts, yet it also includes 3 sappy love songs that can easily be fast forwarded.  This album also brought LL many haters because of his extreme braggadocio!  I’ll explain.

On “I’m That Type of Guy“, LL talks about how he will do your girl when you are out of town, working, or when you piss her off.  This pissed off a lot of dudes thinking “Yeah ok, LL is going to lay my girl”.  When LL says this,

You’re the type of guy that gets suspicious
I’m the type of guy that says, “The puddin is delicious”
You’re the type of guy that has no idea
That a sneaky, freaky brother’s sneakin in from the rear
I’m the type of guy to eat it, when he won’t
And lick in the places that your boyfriend don’t
You’re the type of guy to try to call me a punk
Now knowin that your main girl’s bitin my chunk
I’m the type of guy that loves a dedicated lady
Their boyfriends are borin, and I can drive em crazy
You’re the type of guy to give her money to shop
She gave me a sweater _(kiss)_ thank you, sweetheart
I’m that type of guy

…you know that the homie will press fast forward on that track!

Going Back to Cali” was originally released on the “Less Than Zero” soundtrack and the single contained the b-side “Jack The Ripper“, the track was later released placed on the album as a cassette only purchase.  On “Big Ole Butt” LL talks about falling in love with the chicks with big booties, well before Sir Mix A Lot gave those healthy girls an anthem!  Now, if this song would’ve come out today, LL would have to change the age of the girl in this song!

I went to the high school about three o’clock
To try to catch a cutie ridin’ my jock
My homeboy’s jeep, the system blastin’
Cold forty dogs, smilin’ and laughin’
Girls all over, the kind I adore
I felt like a kid in a candy store
That’s when I seen her
Her name was Brenda
She had the kind of booty that I’d always remember
I said to my man, “Stop the jeep”
She’s only seventeen but, yo, don’t sleep
I kicked the bass like an NFL punter
And scoped the booty like a big game hunter
I said to the girl, “Yo, you look tired
Let’s go get some rest, relax by the fire”
I put the big booty on a bearskin rug
She gave me a kiss, I have her a hug
I said to the girl, “them young boys ain’t nothin’
You want to get freaky, let me kiss your belly button”
I circled it and teased it and made her squeal
Grabbed a pack of bullets and pulled out the steel
When I was through, I wiped the sweat from my eyes
When to the kitchen and got some sweet potato pies
Tina busted in my house while I was eatin’
You know what I said
Too bad you caught me cheatin’, but…

Jingling Baby” is that track that everybody responds to with “Go head baby!” and get’s you dancing to the beat.  The track samples the guitar riff from the Rhythm Addicts track “Scorpio” and has LL rappin,

Can’t believe you tried to grip the same mic as me
Your grip’s too weak, you can’t hold it, B
You can dream of makin progress and gettin this nice
but when I roll up, it’s like Hip Hop Vice
I serve to curbs, I never swerve I’m superb
Every word you heard played tricks on your nerves
You played your hand, lost track of your plan
When I show up, I blow up, end of story, my man
I’m a play you like a poker chip, that’s what you get
I bet your fret, sweat, and regret you met
the titan of fightin, excitin when writin, you triflin toy-boy
I gotta enlighten, so start bitin
You know you can’t create and get mean like this
when I’m on the court, G, it’s strictly SWISSSSHHHH!
When it’s all over, said and done, my friend
they say, “That {bad motherfucker} just scored again”
So take a step back, give me some room to wreck shop
Here’s your token back, you’re gettin off at the next stop
I’ma deliver and give a speech with vigor
I drink some Olde E and start waxin {niggaz}

The Bomb Squad helps LL on two tracks that sound like they belong on a Public Enemy album.  “Nitro” is dope but “It Get’s No Rougher” is the gem of this album.  The album borrows the funky guitar riff from “Life Is Funky” by The Round Robin Monopoly and we get vintage LL on the rhymes!  Straight banger!

Let me ask you ask a question…
Who could take the game of rap and rule it alone
Demonstrate many styles on the microphone
Build an empire like an African King
I had to show and prove Jack the Ripper could swing
I’m a rapper’s nightmare, I crush my opponents
There’s only one title: I own it
Emcees flip-flop, I bust out the workshop
They try to eavesdrop the way the man rock
Aerodynamically, it’s all automatically
The way I articulate, full of originality
Chase, chop ’em and stop ’em like a cheetah and an antelope
Then I cut ’em like a cantalope – on the table
They ain’t able, I’m a legend, not a fable, gotta keep it stable
Crack your back bone, hotter than brimstone
Doing you justice overseeing like a chaperone
Huh, on the hip-hop scene, I got shit sewn up like a sewing machine
Eat a rapper like a sandwich, leave ’em in a bandage
Crack the stage and leave the audience damaged

Why Do You Think They Call It Dope?” is another banger that gives us that hardcore LL sound.  The James Brown sample of “You Got to Have a Mother for Me” and the fast paced lyrics make this track a must listen!

Warning, MC’s stand back
You better take a chill and observe the skill
Of the man who can, so understand god damn
I got a masterpiece a master plan and a brand new
Way to attack the wack cut ’em down to size
To realize LL’s back
Don’t sleep I’m too sweet to repeat a beat
A lyric or rhyme I wouldn’t waste your time
With weak words, that’s for nerds, you never heard a rhyme
So you deserve a line rougher than rough enough is enough
I’m, gonna slaughter choke ya smoke ya like a sauna
You don’t really wanna
But if you wanna battle on here’s a lesson: stop ‘fessin
I’m a lethal weapon, you better get to steppin
Off the stage, and outta my face
You’re too light *in the asshole* save the bass

Dropin Em” is another dope track but “Two Different Worlds“, “One Shot At Love” and “You’re My Heart” are 3 love songs that are nothing like “I Need Love” and fail to capture the hardcore LL fan.  Fans like me just skipped it and when making a cassette copy, left those out.  It was still a dope release, but not one of his Top 3 albums in my opinion.  Still, we salute you LL and we thank you for all the dope jams you contributed for the genre!

-Al E.


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