Today in Hip-Hop: LL Cool J Drops His Single ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’
On this day, Feb. 26, in hip-hop history...
1991: LL Cool J delivered his biggest hit single, "Mama Said Knock You Out."
The infectious rap that started with "Don't call it a comeback" was an undeniable success. Inspired by advice from LL's grandmother, the Bay Shore MC wrote the four verse rap to "knock out" young rappers and critics saying his career was on the decline. The drumbeat of the single samples the Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance" and James Brown's "Funky Drummer." It even features a voice over of J's dear old grandma at the end telling him to take out the trash.
The song was the title track of the album of the same name. It quickly peaked at number 17 one on the Billboard Hot 100 and locked in the number one spot of Billboard's US Rap Singles. The rap became certified gold by RIAA and won the Def Jam signee his first Grammy in 1992 for Best Rap Solo Performance. "Mama Said Knock You Out" is listed as one of the "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll" in the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame.