Mama Said Knock You Out

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For the song of the same name, see Mama Said Knock You Out (song).
Mama Said Knock You Out
Studio album by LL Cool J
Released August 27, 1990 (1990-08-27)
Recorded 1989–1990 at Unique Recording Studios NYC
Genre Hip hop, Hardcore Hip Hop,[1] East Coast Hip Hop,[1] Golden Age hip hop[1]
Length 61:36
Label Def Jam, Columbia, CBS Records
Producer Marley Marl, Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin
LL Cool J chronology
Walking with a Panther
(1989)
Mama Said Knock You Out
(1990)
14 Shots to the Dome
(1993)
Singles from Mama Said Knock You Out
  1. "To da Break of Dawn"
    Released: June 17, 1990
  2. "The Boomin' System"
    Released: August 2, 1990
  3. "Around the Way Girl"
    Released: November 6, 1990
  4. "Mama Said Knock You Out"
    Released: February 26, 1991
  5. "6 Minutes of Pleasure"
    Released: May 30, 1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau (A)[3]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[4]
New York Times (favorable)[5]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[7]
The Source 4/5 stars[8]
Spin (9/10)[9]
Trouser Press (favorable)[10]
Yahoo! Music (favorable)[11]

Mama Said Knock You Out is the fourth studio album by hip-hop artist LL Cool J. The album was released in 1990, after the critically disappointing Walking with a Panther in 1989. Mama Said Knock You Out is now seen as a classic hip-hop album.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album spawned four hit singles: "The Boomin' System," "Around the Way Girl," (which sampled clips from the Mary Jane Girls song "All Night Long"), the hard-hitting title track itself (which received special notice after LL Cool J's dynamic full-live-band performance of it - unusual for rap performers/performances at the time - during an episode of MTV's Unplugged), and "6 Minutes Of Pleasure." The diss record "To Da Break Of Dawn" was named number 11 on XXL's 20 greatest diss records of all time. The album reached No. 16 in the U.S. charts. The album eventually went 2X Platinum selling over two million copies according to the RIAA.[citation needed]

The title song reached number 17[12] on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold by the RIAA. LL Cool J won Best Rap Solo Performance at the Grammy Awards of 1992.

Critical reception[edit]

"This 22-year-old veteran has lost neither his eye for everyday detail nor his sheer relish for words…" observed Mark Cooper in a 3/5 review for Q. "If LL frequently sounds like he's torn between stardom, egomania and his insistence that he's still the boy next door, 'Around the Way Girl' and jams like 'The Boomin' System' suggest that there's plenty of mileage left in this particular balancing act."[13] "LL's stack of samples add the icing to a cake that is all dark, remorseless rhythm, a lo-fi drum beat shadowed by a crude bass rumble," noted Richard Cook in a 4/5 review for Select. "It could be Jamaican dub they're making here, if it weren't for LL's slipper lip."[14]

The album was included in Hip Hop Connection's The phat forty, a rundown of rap's greatest albums. "The LP's title track proved to be the single of the year and probably LL's best record since 'I'm Bad'," HHC said, "while 'Eat 'Em Up L Chill' and 'To Da Break Of Dawn' was [sic] the sound of Cool J getting his own back – and in style."[15] In 1998, it was listed in The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2005, comedian Chris Rock listed it as the sixth greatest hip-hop album ever in a guest article for Rolling Stone.[16]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Marley Marl and co-produced by LL Cool J except for "Jingling Baby (Remixed but Still Jingling)", which was produced by LL Cool J and remixed by Marley Marl and the title track which is co-produced by Bobby "Bobcat" Erving.

  1. "The Boomin' System"
  2. "Around the Way Girl"
  3. "Eat 'em Up, L Chill"
  4. "Mr. Good Bar"
  5. "Murdergram (Live at Rapmania)"
  6. "Cheesy Rat Blues"
  7. "Farmers Blvd. (Our Anthem)" featuring Big Money Grip, Bomb, HIC
  8. "Mama Said Knock You Out"
  9. "Milky Cereal"
  10. "Jingling Baby (Remixed but Still Jingling)"
  11. "To da Break of Dawn"
  12. "6 Minutes of Pleasure"
  13. "Illegal Search'"
  14. "The Power of God"

Japanese Bonus Track Listing[edit]

  1. "Mama Said Knock You Out [Steering Mix]

Sampling[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]