4, 3, 2, 1 (LL Cool J song)

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"4, 3, 2, 1"
Single by LL Cool J featuring Canibus, DMX, Method Man and Redman
from the album Phenomenon
B-side 4, 3, 2, 1
Released December 9, 1997 (1997-12-09)
Format CD single, 12" single
Recorded 1997
Genre East coast hip hop
Length 4:16
Label Def Jam Recordings
Writer(s) James Smith, Clifford Smith, Reggie Noble, Germaine Williams, Earl Simmons
Producer(s) Erick Sermon, LL Cool J
LL Cool J chronology
"Phenomenon"'
(1997)
"4, 3, 2, 1"
(1997)
"Father"
(1998)

"4, 3, 2, 1" is a single by LL Cool J, Method Man, Redman, Canibus and DMX from LL Cool J's seventh album Phenomenon. It was released on December 9, 1997 for Def Jam Recordings and was produced by LL Cool J and Erick Sermon. A remix was made with an additional verse from southern rapper, Master P. Both the original song (minus Canibus) and the remix (with Canibus and Master P) had accompanying music videos. The song peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 10 on the Hot Rap Singles and number 24 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

LL Cool J vs. Canibus[edit]

The song is notable for starting the LL Cool J vs. Canibus feud, LL took offense to the lines, "L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that", which referenced his tattoo of a microphone on his arm – and which Canibus claimed was his own way of showing the rap veteran respect – and wrote an indirect diss to Williams:

"The symbol on my arm is off limits to challengers / You hold the rusty sword, I swing the Excalibur"

And also:

"Now let's get back to this mic on my arm / If it ever left my side, it'd transform into a time bomb / You don't wanna borrow that, you wanna idolize / And you don't wanna make me mad, n***a, you wanna socialize."

Before the song was released, LL Cool J asked Canibus to change his lines. Canibus claims that LL vowed to modify his own lines as well, but the latter denied this and pointed out that nobody would know who he was talking about if only Canibus' line was changed. The original version eventually leaked, and fans started to piece the lines together. Canibus would respond to the diss with Second Round K.O., LL would then respond to that diss with the "Ripper Strikes Back", finally Canibus recorded another diss entitled "Rip the Jacker", which sampled LL's song "I'm Bad", and LL teamed with Ja Rule for the diss track "Back Where I Belong". In addition, despite appearing on the song, Canibus was omitted from the original music video for the song due to the feud, but was later included in the music video for the remix version.

Samples[edit]

This song features a vocal sample from LL Cool J's Rock the Bells off of the album "Radio". Another prominent sample featured in 4, 3, 2, 1 is from the Beastie Boys song "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)".

Track listing[edit]

A-side[edit]

  1. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Radio Edit)
  2. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Regular Version)
  3. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Instrumental)

B-side[edit]

  1. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Radio Edit)
  2. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Regular Version)
  3. "4, 3, 2, 1" (A Cappella)

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
position
Billboard Hot 100 75
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 24
Billboard Hot Rap Singles 10
Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 5

Year-End charts[edit]

End of year chart (1998) Position
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks[1] 96

References[edit]

External links[edit]