On this day, Oct. 14, in hip-hop history...


1997: LL Cool J was your quintessential rapper. The Queens native was on a rampage during his earlier years prior to Phenomenon. With six albums and a couple of Grammys under his belt, it appeared that Todd Smith was damn near impeccable. He mastered the art of integrating love songs with hard-hitting anthems into one cohesive project. While some applauded LL for his resiliency for his effort to keep pushing forward, others had already labeled his career over.

With Puff Daddy serving as the executive producer for LL's newest endeavor, it appeared that LL Cool J would get his swagger back. LL was cognizant of the doubters this trip around and used "4,3,2,1" to revert the hands of time back and channel his inner dog. The record boasted features from a hungry Canibus, DMX, Method Man, & Redman. Even though Canibus slapped LL with a few shots on the track, Uncle L returned the favor with "Second Round K.O." to hush the critics of his lyrical demise.

Songs like "Candy" and "Don't Be Late, Don't Come Too Soon" reminded us why the ladies loved Cool J. The man was cooler than the other side of the pillow. The ten-track project gave LL another platinum-selling album to his already storied career.

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