Related: Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Shaka Khan Nominated For 2019 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

3. I Need Love (1987)

The second from LL Cool J’s second studio album “Bigger and Deffer” is considered by most to be a first for hip-hop. Over The LA Posse’s emotive instrumental James Todd Smith introduced his hardcore peers to the gentler side of rap and words like “unfurl.” Ladies found a Hip-Hop song they could listen to with their man and the song lit up the charts.

2. Boomin System (1990)

After coming into the game with a boom box strapped to his back Uncle L let us know that hip-hop had gone mobile. “Boomin System” celebrated the ridiculous auspicious kicker systems rattling trunks from coast-to-coast. Piggybacking on En Vogue’s use of James Brown’s “The Payback” in their hit “Hold On” L made it really easy for DJs to slide this right into their mixes. We all had a collective chuckle as LL’s speak and spell of “C-O-O-L-I-N F-R-O-N-T-I-N” means he’s chill in..

1.Around The Way Girl (1990)

Over a seductive mash-up the Mary Jane Girls “All Night Long” played at double speed and Kenny Burke’s “Risin To The Top” LL reminded us why the ladies loved him and why he loved them back. The native of Queens let every girl standing at a bus stop sucking on a lollipop know that she was top in his book. Lisa, Angela, Pamela, Renee became the most popular baby names of the decade (in the ‘hood at least) and they all grew up to fight on reality TV shows. We kid. We kid.

 

 

15 Essential LL Cool J Songs was originally published on rnbphilly.com

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