Friday, May 29, 2020

LL Cool J "Bigger And Deffer" (May 29, 1987)


Born James Todd Smith in St. Albans, Queens (the New York City neighborhood that borders Run-DMC's Hollis), LL was rapping by the time he was nine years old. At eleven he was leading local rap crews, and at thirteen he was making demo tapes at home in his basement and sending them around to the record labels releasing rap records. "I've always had a way with words," he says. "People used to tell me I speak like a poet." Before any of his music business competitors caught on, Rick Rubin, then a 22-year old New York University student and co-owner (with Russell Simmons) of Def Jam Recordings, recognized the poet in LL. In November '84, "I Need A Beat" by then 16-year old LL was the first twelve-inch single released by Def Jam. A year later, shortly after the label was signed to CBS Records for worldwide distribution, LL's Radio was the first Def Jam album released. Produced by Rubin, Radio immediately won high critical praise." In 1987, LL returned with Bigger And Deffer. His bio continues, "As his own producer on Bigger And Deffer, LL has broadened his palette. The album moves from the aggressively high-energy rants of "I'm Bad," "Get Down," and "Aah, Let's Get Ill," to the cartoon fantasies of "My Rhyme Ain't Done," to the ultra-sexy ways of "Kanday" and "Bristol Hotel." Stylistically, he moves from the relentlessly hard rap of "The Breakthrough," to the New Edition-styled "I Need Love," to the Moonglows-inspired "Do Wop," to "Go, Cut Creator, Go" -- in which Chuck Berry meets The Who on Farmers Boulevard in Queens." (Original Press Kit, 1987). 


On Friday, May 29, 1987 (the date of the album's release in the tri-state area), the New York Post reviewed Bigger And Deffer, saying: "Here's the next blockbuster rap album. Busier and more dynamic production than ever heightens LL Cool J's blinding vocal precision, and the results are endless strings of killer hooks in "I'm Bad," rapped to the "Minute Mouse" theme; "Ahh, Let's Get Ill" and the tall-tale rap "My Rhyme Ain't Done." "Kanday" is more proof of the drop-dead ingenuity that's becoming standard in rap. But if its treatment of women raises hackles, "The Bristol Hotel" won't help at all. Still, "The Do-Wop," the Chuck Barry homage "Go, Cut Creator, Go" and the ballad "I Need Love" display rap's surprising flexibility and its entertaining propensity to take the form of freewheeling pop collage." With Bigger And Deffer, LL delivered a summer classic!!! Listen HERE.