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LL Cool J
Todd Smith

LlCoolJ.jpgLL Cool J has made women swoon for more than 20 years. But even the slickest playboys run out of game eventually. That fact is made dreadfully clear on Big Elley’s 12th album, Todd Smith, where the rap vet seems restricted, even trapped, by his reliance on making music for the fairer sex.

The lead single, “Control Myself,” finds LL dusting off his flirtatious “Going Back to Cali” flow for a regretful romp with Jennifer Lopez. Although Jermaine Dupri’s Afrika Bambaataa– inspired production gets the bodies rockin’, Mr. Smith quickly kills the mood with his elementary lyrics. Other duds include the disturbing “Preserve the Sexy,” a high BPM duet with teenage temptress Teairra Mari, and the sappy Track Masters–helmed “Down the Aisle.” Backed by 112 on the latter, LL gushes, “I was blind to love, God showed me you/Now I’m standing at the altar ready to say I do.”

LL does better when he drops the Superman Lover cape and reveals his inner thoughts. Take the mournful “Freeze” featuring Lyfe Jennings and “We’re Gonna Make It,” where Uncle L and gospel divas Mary Mary team up to praise the Lord. And even though the lazily titled Juelz Santana collaboration “It’s LL and Santana” can’t compare to his best Jack the Ripper material (i.e. “Ill Bomb” and “I Shot Ya”), at least LL sounds reinvigorated over producer Shay Taylor’s heavy metal track.

The rest of Todd Smith, however, finds LL on autopilot. Including a guest performer on every track, he plays it safe by going for potential singles and standard chick records. One of the few exceptions being “I’ve Changed,” is a vivid narrative where LL plays the role of stalker and confesses, “That’s the old me, the one I still regret/The one you couldn’t respect/The one you should forget.” Sounds like even he’s so sick of love songs.—THOMAS GOLIANOPOULOS

  • 50 Cent

    LL cant see me on the mic!

  • Sizzurp

    i was actually thinkin of purchasing this album… i really wanted it to see if Ll has still got it… but then i heard a couple tracks and pretty much HATED every new tune he released… so lucky i didnt buy it

  • Prince Jones

    Now LL is a legend but he need some more updated beats and I can help him.

  • Gansta Nigga

    … the cd aint that bad yall, ll is a legend! no matter what he does, he will always be teh shit

  • mlja

    wack album, freeway killed that feature tho, only song worth replaying

  • BIGWES174

    HE SHOULD HANG IT UP AND STICK TO ACTING NOW

  • C.Smalls

    XXL that’s fucked up how you gave LL an M but I guess if it’s wack it’s wack. I never heard it before and im a open minded person to all music and i’ll know if it’s wack. But so far I like his first single.

  • http://myspace.com/getthebloodmoney Def

    I agree with everybody LL needs to put the mic down…”Control Myself” speaks for itself on this one…

    myspace.com/getthebloodmoney

  • MaRk CavZzZ

    im tired of people sayin LL is a legend, so what? that doesn’t mean we should like this shit album just because hes a legend the same bullshit happened when Big Will’s Lost And Found came out. both albums made me wonder what happened to ‘em, but just cuz theyre legends dont mean we gotta give them props

  • BIG D from harlem

    i loved ll but that control ur self almost made my puke lol so i guesse he should stop if is ganna put out garbage

  • http://www.myspace.com/jakes04 Slim Country

    LL from ’98 to present doesn’t deserve the “Legend” title. What has he produce since then that is a classic or at least worth buying today if you lost the cd? Exactly. He was hard in the ’80s and early ’90s, but that’s it. He’s garbage and clear proof that rappers need to know when to put the mic down. Now someone go tell that to Bow Wow.

  • Poison

    this is exactly why i didnt buy da damn album. his lead single was wack. he lost just about all his lyrical skill. this nigga has lost it.

  • leo

    hes been in the game to long with the same flow. he dosent ever try to change. always about loving. best LL song was “Momma Told Me To Kock You Out” other than that im just a LL movie fan.

  • stonyisland

    20 years, half of you hating muthafucka aint got 20 dollars! every album cant be a 5 miker, LL has represented real hip hop since he came into the game. I dont feel he gets his righteous props, name one other MC who has successful bridged the last 2 decades? name one? Rakim? nope? Big daddy kane? nope. Uncle L is stillda future of the funk. Chappelle said it right they shouldnt have ever gave you niggas money!!!!!

  • LL HATER

    20 years of “Ja Ruling” to these hoes (No offense Hoes). This nigga ain’t hard. And any gangsta ain’t going to waste selling a nickel bag to buy this nigga album. What he need to do is either get shot and rap about it or at least lie about it or at least say some hard shit. Only reason he’s still with DEF JAM is cuz their’s a clause in the agreement to give DEF JAM to Jay and L.A. Reid.

  • Toby Keith

    John Legend’s album is harder than this senior citizen’s album. When will Todd Smith realize nobody wants a 40 year old body builder saying he’s the G.O.A.T.? He raps for women, and after seeing his first week sales it seems the women are not impress no more. I think I see some wrinkles on his pectorals. Game recognize game and he’s looking unfimiliar.

  • bob

    i hope that really is 50′s ass. Nigga you will never be on Uncle L’s level. You just a fad.

  • bigbodylicious

    all you niggas hatin on LL. diss that nigga then! and he’ll rip that ass up. holla at that

  • http://www.crooked-soul.com Zilla

    5 Reasons Why LL is the shit:
    1. “Rock the Bells”
    2. “Mama Said Knock You Out”
    3. “4,3,2,1″
    4. “I Shot Ya”
    5. “Jingin Baby Remix”

    5 Resons Why LL is shit:
    1. “I’m That Kind of Guy”
    2. “Phenomenon” LP
    3. the film “Out of Sync”
    4. taking his hat off for that Halloween movie
    5. “2nd Round Knockout” by Canibus

    Everyone has ups and downs.

  • http://aol nyceAka chris banks

    LL is getting corny because nobody wants to listen to a nigga rappin about bitches.They want gangsta shit

  • 50 Cent

    LL Cool Gay is a fag.

  • WATKINS

    ll u is wak.give it up.u old school

  • http://cwimpyezoomtown.com wimpye

    I’m 24 years old.Say what you want about LL Daddy?Even 50 ain’t got a body like.If that nigga take his shirt off(yo wife, moma,sister,and grandmother gone get knocked up).”Moma Said Knock You Out”ha ha ha.And thats all that matters.

  • lisa30

    It’s alot of haters in this world; why can’t people be happy for celebrities, actors(actresses), and everyday people who are trying to survive in the world. LL is hot and always will be and he still has what it takes to be a rapper. I love him because he’s an around guy, meaning you can find him in movies, his new clothing line, and music. Don’t down the brother; get out and try to do half of what LL is doing.

  • Jk

    I think all the dudes who don’t like LL’s music should stop listening to it if they hate it so much.

  • 50 Cent

    99% of his fans wear heels.

  • Big Wes 174

    If that is 50 most of your fans were wires and work for the cops u bitch ass nigger(yeh I spelled it with the er at the end)

  • 50 Cent

    Big Wes 174 Says:

    April 28th, 2006 at 1:39 am
    If that is 50 most of your fans were wires and work for the cops u bitch ass nigger(yeh I spelled it with the er at the end)
    ^^^

    Did someone catch a feeling about LL? I hope your not a dude…….

  • http://www.myspace.com/hoodsenator JohnCash

    LL should have retired right after that wack ass song he did for the “Deep Blue Sea” sound track!! and CanIbus def. won the battle L…sorry!!

  • KIN

    Exactly, he is a legend. That means he needs to STOP IT RIGHT NOW. I’m tired of this shit! E-40, TOO $HORT & BUSTA RHYMES are legends too, but they can rap. This nigga LL needs to quit for real!

  • The Prodigy

    KNew LL wasn’t shit but he needs to go back to that bad ass shit he used to do. Now he a pussy lickin bitch. stop lickin ya lips nigga

  • http://www.xxlmag.com mark-1

    ll sucks ass he was hot back in 85 but this a new time and a new generation. your not gonna believe it but yesterday i heard a few 9 year olds say ll was new. they thought todd smith was his 2nd album and they hated him. LL ITS OVER, HANG IT UP YOUR WACK

  • bud

    big wes 174 get off game dick he only sold cuz of 50

  • Abchao

    LL cool J sux so much i wouldn’t get thisshit free of the net. And yes he has been in the game 4 a while but it doesn’t mean shit If you suck….Oh and by the way 2nd round KO was better than any battle trackk LL ever dropped…

    Canibus 4 ever…..

  • SES

    “Any comment is a Compliment.”

    That’s why he’s still in the Game.

  • LilScooby

    A i have 2 say LL is tight as shyt but this one he kinda f**ked up BIG time but I mean it aint that bad. He still tight no matta what.

  • Hipjoint

    this album definately doesn’t deserve M rating, it shoudl’ve got a L or XL. (Vibe gave it 4 Records)
    LL’s verse in “What u want” is probaly the most refreshing verse i’ve heard in rap in years.
    i agree this isn’t LL best by far,
    (we might be just brainwashed with all this gangsta/crunk music, we just don’t fell this smooth shit n e more, i don’t know) but he’s in a position in his career, where he doesn’t have to
    prove he’s the baddest cat on the block, he did that 20 yrs ago. i think him tryin to do the will smith approach hasn’t gone too well, no cursing. i think he shud look at what this album has done for his rap career and street cred and either bow out or re-unite with marley marl or dj scratch and comeback with a classic then bow out.

    LL’s Classics.
    1) Radio 2)BAD 3)Mama Said Knock Y.. 4) Mr. Smith 5) The G.O.A.T.

  • Chris Villain

    LL need to hang it up…..he was a monster on the mic but now he full of shit…..he need to Leeve it To Niggas Like Weezy F. Baby and Lupe Fiasco

  • JIMMY CA$H

    show respect to this nigga this muthaphuka is a real legend he fuck every muthaphuka on the mic ice t g rap moe dee canibus haha this nigga is the shit!

  • AssassinFlow

    I’m so damn tired of people saying “so and so’s a legend, so he’ll always be the shit.” WAKE UP. LL is decent at best nowadays. “Control Myself” is a BLATANT ripoff of “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot. His skills aint been the same since Mama Said Knock You Out. Plus, too many people wanna act like LL is some battle master. YO. He got his ass handed to him by Mo Dee, by Ice-T AND by Canibus. I like and respect LL to a degree, but this dude is being overrated by some people and you gotta realize the man just aint what he used to be.

  • Chris Villain

    Indeed……Canibus strate murdered LL…..LL so called “won” tht battle due to his status, but canibus ripped him a new hole

  • Fuck NewYorkCity

    LL Cool J is the shit! Every single person replying to these posts are stupid mothafuckas with no lives.
    Control Myself is a classic. Yall ass just mad because he is still selling platinum shit with little effort required. He can cough on the mic and sell a million in such a short time. A lot of his sells thrive on his appearence to the world. Nelly and 50 do go platinum off of it. Fuck everybody and suck my mothafuckin dick. Suck my source lovin dick! Fuck New York and the south is the shit. If anybody has anything to say about it come up to Savannah GA and find Criplomat XL.

  • trev

    i think half of the people be hating on ll because he’s managed to stay in the game alot longer then any other artist is stopped cussing to prove a point that he dont need to cuss in his raps just to sell an albulm dont you think if he wanted to be a hard ass he would have continued to use the same verbal abuse that most of you niggas need to wake up give em his respect im sure he could out do half of you who complain about his work niggas just jealous they aint got near what he got not to mention physical and lyrical longevity

  • 50 Cent

    Criplomat? Are you trying to…..nevermind.

  • Y-Be

    This is aIgHt but like most people say he’s getting old!

  • LL Cool J

    Guys I suck and I have always sucked. Anybody can get on a beat and say something like ‘mama said knock you out’ and make a song. The only reason I have been in the game so long is because I am a sex symbol. Trust me I know I suck.

  • http://realestniggas.com Bobbito

    LL COOL J DROPPED HIS SOAP!

  • soulbro#2

    that album is wack as hell, ll cool j needs to sit his botox face ass down somewhere

  • GM

    LL Cool J ain’t in his prime anymore but I still find his new album much more refreshing than most of the bullshit that sells today, LL’s as real as they come, 40 year olds ain’t running the streets selling crack so why should he make songs like that for? He’s getting his grown and sexy on making songs about important things in life like relationships with God and family, that’s the type of rap that’ll help us grow, that pimp shit is degrading to our culture, “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” winning an Oscar was a fucking joke and I’m sure XXL gave them higher than a M rating for their album too, Mobb Deep made a song on their album about how they’d kill God and they get XL rating? Hip-hop is going to hell if you brainwashed by that, LL is an inspiration to us all, the only true role model in the game

    “We’re Gonna Make It” alone should give this album better than a medium rating ’cause it has more substance and heart than 99% of the rap game does, I’m sick of everyone rapping about gun violence and drug slanging, LL is the shit, respect this man!!

  • tuned2it

    LL IS LLAME AND HAS BEEN FOR SOME TIME NOW…LET’S ALL COME 2GETHER AN FACE IT. HE IS A LEGEND AND ALL BUT SO IS BIGFOOT. LL U STILL COOL JUST DON’T RAP NO MO’MAYBE U CAN DO SELF HELP CONVENTIONS ON HOW A PERSON CAN HANG IN THERE WHEN THEY DOGGED OUT FOR LESS THAN GOOD LPS. AND IF UR READIN’ THIS U PROBABLY HAVE LICKED UR LIPS 2.5 MILLION TIMES…GET OVER IT, RETIRE B-4 U GET DONE LIKE OLD YELLER.

  • TheTruth

    Does this nigga not read,listen,watch anything everybody things you should retire….shit’s ridiculous

    If you really wanna sell some records die if you’re not planning on dying don’t release no more records..PLEASE

  • BT

    Damn y’all need to stop hating so much, get some pussy, let LL live

  • Prodigy

    This nigga been in the game to long yo. Respect though.

  • Avery

    He is the GOAT. He did it all and now it is time for him to be a CREATOR rather then a BULLY. When he did do the gangsta shit they still complained. Who yall think brung out the Chain, champagne and the cars and the women thang he DID!!!! GOAT. Rasta Imposta smoked cannibus and wycleff. Back where I belong and Return of the ripper. Where is cannibus??? Have not heard from him cause he WACK by bein 1 dimensional. LL is Versatile and the most versatile at dat. No one heard his underground stuff did u did U!!!! NO!!! I have stuuff that he keeps underground cause he cares for peeps kids. These other cats hate ya kids. So he is just makin music to be positive. U want his negative shit then call me or E-Mail me I will let you here baby dogs. CHI-TOWN south side. tateavery@yahoo.com gimmie an address and I will send it to you for free. LUV.

  • Young Twon

    LL used to be that nigga about 10 or 15 years ago but, he just need to fuckin give it up. U had yo chance to shine let anotha nigga shine. Plus this nigga is like 40 years old. Just give it da fuck up like jay-z old school stealin ass swagger jackin ass did. Dipset all day bitch.

  • http://www.yahoo.com James Jordan

    LL Cool J is the Greatest Rapper Of All Time. People Dont Understand ll ruled the game for more then 20 years. All his albums are platinum and he won all his Rap Battles and got the loves songs for the ladies.The Album the Goat should be consider one of the greatest albums of all time. Todd smith is not ll at his best but not everyone can be perfect. No one has done it better then LL Cool J in the rap game,give the man the credit he deserves.

  • http://Blackplanet daproffessor

    I feel like dis herr, no i don’t know one gansta with his c.d, no I don’t know one homie that is a big LL fan, BUT, If I could have anybodys career in the game it would be his. This nigga brave for even comin out the Young Jeezy’s and Three Sixes in the game. Everbody love that gangsta shit, but put it on something that when that “Control Myself” came on you was’t bobbin’ yo head. You probably was like “ZA ZAZA ZAZA ZA ZA ZA”. I’m gone give credit where credit is due, That song with Lyfe is exactly what this guy had to say to his female. DO WHAT YA DO MAN

  • Hipjoint

    LL Cool J is The GOAT, 2pac,biggie,eminem idiolized him, rakim,krs-1,big d kane have mad respect for him. & i’m sick of all this gang banging music, you’ve got entertainers like jigga & 50 glorifying selling crack (i’m a hustler), they need to do something positive for the world. And why isn’t LL’s “Mama said knock you out” never mentioned in greatest rap albums of all time, it’s way better than reasonable doubt,illmatic,ready to die…., and sumthin’ for Can-I-Bitch, “The was the worst line that i heard in my life CAN, cuz the Greatest Rapper Of All Time re-signed with DEF JAM!. -LL keep doing ure thing, don’t worry if ure music isn’t selling as well as it use to, you have touched all ure real fans deeply over the past 20 yrs through you entertainment. peace.

  • bigboi

    Ll a legend can only go but so far. just stick 2 movies like ill will

  • ruserious

    this mf is dripping with wack juice. super bowl sugar dome havin azz nigga. Nigga need to switch the game up and start investing his time in some 30minute yoga techniques for 5 min abs or some shit. This nigga been garbo since da late 90′s. Greatest of all time negro plz how bout the longest lasting with a mediocre acting career of all time. Yo I wouldn’t support( well actually i neva did..jus cop dat shit off da net or buy a bootleg) an ll cool j album if the nigga gave me a life time supply of carmax..ol jerk chicken greasy crack’d lip azz licking nigga. Nigga always licking hiz lips like he some bitch made model for revlon..gay azz bitch boy man someone tell ll cool j that he should’ve gave it up 5 4 321 years ago CAnibus did rip that nigga even though his career iz dead den amuthafucka

  • seankai

    I have respect for LL being in the game so long and still coming out with some bangers here and there. This is the first album I’ve bought of his since Mr. Smith and on the real, that fool owes me 15 dollars. A lot of the production was wack, the beats are either dated or just plain fucked. After hearing ‘freeze’ with Lyfe Jennings (who’s album is well worth buying) I thought the album had a chance but I was wrong. I don’t understand how after getting all that support; producers and artists alike.. the results could be beyond disappointment, but straight up ridiculous.. The lyrics for the most part are not only weak but elementary, talking about material things like every other artist on some of the tracks, I would expect more from a man like him. Maybe he’s just trying to push his new line. Seems like he’s having a hard time staying relevant. It shows every now and then in his career and it’s happened once again with this album.

  • http://MINDSTATELA.COM ARSANIC

    ICON WHO OVERSTAYED HIS WELCOME

  • sidi

    he should retire….to movies !

  • Bobby

    By looking at the rating for this album, you can tell that there seems to be a hate for DefJam and love Interscope. If you pick up a XXL mag interscope artists all over it. XXL suckin’ Jimmy Iovine dick so all there artist come to there mag for publicity instead of Vibe, and other mags. Theres a similar case with Jay-Z & MTV , i really don’t know whose pulling the strings these days.

  • FUCK LL

    I never liked ll, the only thing good about control myself is the flow. He should have went and gotten a dr. dre beat or swizz beat and gotten a hook from nate dogg. That would have been a bigger hit. I dont like ll because he is to egotistical, he is considered a legend for nothing and he has very few good songs. very few. The only reason he got an M and not an S is because he is considered a legend.

  • playboy 901

    only thing good about control myself is the video. I hated the song, but the video was so tight you couldnt help but to watch it. I was thinking about getting the cd but when i saw M, now i know i’m not getting it. Hell the albums they give a L sucks, so i can imagine a M.

  • GOD’S GIFT

    LL is a legend, when you’ve been around as long as he has you gotta get respect for that. because he’s a legend he should be able to retire whenever he feels like it, he’s earned that real niggas know that. The greats go out on their own, not always on a high note, but on their own. jordan, emmitt smith, jay. and lastly fuck critics/haters it’s easy to hate on somebody elses shit!

  • Antagonist

    Why the hate on this album? Sure it wasn’t groundbreaking but the album had a nice feel 2 it. It honestly deserves an L instead of an M.

  • Mikey

    I agree, why so much hate on this album, it’s a grower, takes time. i wud say this album is 75% classic, the only song i didn’t like was “preserve the sexy” nice hook but the songs format and beat wernt tight. i love trk 9 ginuwine kills it. all u fellas buy this for ure girls or ure self cuz it’s strictly for the grown and sexy!

  • http://downsouth northtampaboy

    some of you cats kill me with this shit at age 40 what do you want him to rap about look at ice cube 40 years old still trying to be gangster l l knows how to make money so he will bounds back the question is how

  • http://N/a babygirl

    you guys are all just jealous of his hotness! oh, and fiddy: you just wish you had as many women fans as L! a**holes!

  • allnice

    This dude hasn’t been hot for a decade and a half. Momma said knock you out was the last fire shit he spit. After that, it was all about LL for the ladies. He had 4321, but it wasnt hot because he was on it. Anyways, I knew his sex appeal for the hoes was gonna wear out because diesel niggaz aren’t in anymore. Even 50 felt that hit when his album didnt do as much as Get Rich and Die Tryin, so now even he is backpedaling trying to really spit. This album is obviously garbage.

  • dopeboiFresh

    yall need to quite hatein on my man LL. He has done things yall fav. rapper or singer can’t and wont do. cheak this dudes track record… yeah i know u thinking… damn he really is better than my favorite rapper. cheak his sales, cheak his movies, cheak his accomplishments!!! flat out the man is good at what he does… so get off his startin five and quite hatein… flat out G.O.A.T. FLAT OUT!!

  • Holla

    I got mad love for LL!!

  • IL Duce

    point blank there is juss some people who get repect no matter what. for instance Micheal Jordan…when he was a basketball player he was everyone’s favorite, when he was a baseball player, he was everyone’s favorite, when he came back to basketball rocking the 45 he was everyone’s favorite, and when he came back to play for the wizards he was everyone’s favorite. the same goes for LL Cool J. no matter what he does he get his respect. he fucking LL COOL J!!! and that’s the reason why canibus anit hear today…becuase if LL Cool J tells you something you doit becuase he’s LL fucking COOL J!!!

  • mark

    i met LL at a party last week. He still seems cocky after all these years. He was with his brother Tony Smith who seemed a bit more outgoing. he s on myspace too. http://www.myspace.com/youngtoddny nice chatting with the smith family tho

  • ron jackson

    yea i saw LL cool J with his brother Tony Smith *www.myspace.com/youngtoddny* in Las Vegas a few months ago. They showed mad love. Much sucess to the Smith family

  • http://XXL Money Mi

    LL to me needs to get that new Todd Smith pt.2 album straight. Cuz 50 gonna be gettin’ it together, HOPEFULLY TO BE A B.A.D. Pt. 2 album. (LLs BEST ALBUM) LL is the best, he just needs to look at these other pioneers (Snoop Dogg,Ice Cube,etc.) and find out how they still got thier swagg. Ima say this like I mean it:

    LL, CUSS IN YO SONGS AGAIN!!!

  • http://llcooljtoddsmith-xxl zaijah

    yo ll i think this beef is childish because people are going to be mad about what you have. so dont waist your breathe on these cats.

  • J-Love

    GM said it best and i’m with him 100 % on this one. He’s approaching 40 and time should make you wiser and more of a man. Why should he buy into this gangster cRAP fad. It’s fake music without any soul in it. LL is the only one true guy with a brain in the hip hop music to date. How did the gangster stuff leak into the game, it needs to be checked out the back door. It’s 2007 and time for new ways of doing things.