Wednesday, December 1, 2021

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out LP

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out LP

Def Jam (2014, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

There are a handful of records in every person's life that just completely upend what they thought they knew and the sort of sounds they are interested in.  It's not always the coolest or most glamorous albums that do this.  And there are times where the album that launched the change doesn't even end up holding up over time.  That's the very definition of Mama Said Knock You Out for me.  

This record came out in September of my eighth grade year in 1990.  I was certainly aware of hip hop prior to then, but I wasn't emotionally invested in anything until I saw the video for "Mama Said Knock You Out."  It was such a transformative moment that it's likely the reason I even started watching Yo! MTV Raps in an attempt to see the video more often.  It's such an incredibly great song and I really still love it just as much now as I did when I was thirteen.

That song led me to buying the entire album.  It's an uneven experience at the best of times and I thought that in 1990 as well.  In addition to the flawless title track, there's a few other memorable moments like "Eat Em Up L Chill," "Murdergram" and "To Da Break Of Dawn."  There's also a bunch of terrible songs like "Mr. Goodbar," "Around The Way Girl" and the laughably bad "Milky Cereal." Basically any time LL tries to be the romance emporium, he falls flat on his face.

But this is a pretty important record to me, historically speaking.   It seemed silly not to have it on vinyl if for no other reason than to listen to that insane title track over and over again while thinking about the musical direction it pushed me in when I was thirteen.

LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out:

No comments:

Post a Comment