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LL COOL J - AUTHENTIC HIP-HOP

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It looks like the album is coming out a week earlier now (APRIL 30TH). Here's the new tracklisting!

1. Bath Salt 2. Not Leaving You Tonight 3. New Love 4. We Came To Party 5. Give Me Love 6. Something About You (Love The World) 7. Bartender Please 8. Whaddup 9. Between The Sheetz 10. Closer 11. Live For You 12. We're The Greatest

"Ratchet" is completely gone! You can still download the explicit and clean version on Amazon though. The "Take It" download as been removed but the explicit and clean version of "Whuddup" is available for download again. If you want to compare, here's the OLD/ORIGINAL tracklisting.

1. Something About U (FTW)
2. Where Ya At (BOSS)
3. Take It Featuring Joe
4. Closer Featuring Monica
5. Too Late
6. New Love
7. Dream With Me
8. Girl So Bad
9. Ratchet
10. Bartender Please
11. Bath Salt
12. Getting Paper
13. Jump On It
14. Hell Yeah
15. Whaddup

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It's nice that Ratchet is gone. Definitely a positive sign. The tracklisting appears to be another female-focused LL album though. That's reflected in the title change too, I suppose. I prefer the GOAT LL over the Todd Smith LL.

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I don't know, it all seems about right to me. If there were a few LL-love songs on the album, I'd be really upset, but it doesn't look too R-N-B/light like Todd Smith (which also had a few bangers on it). Authentic Hip-Hop was a little too spelled out to me. Keeping it just Authentic is much better in my opinion. The album cover is much more artsy too.

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Well that was the other thing I was going to point out too. The album cover seems geared to attract females now too. It's LL smirking in a sweater jacket. Don't get me wrong, the original album cover needed some work too (the fonts were a bit too generic for my taste). It just seems like the focus of the album shifted during production so they dropped some songs, reworked the title, and changed the cover.

I could be wrong but that tracklist just screams another female-focused LL album to me. That's great for the fans that like it, but it's not the sort of thing that I give heavy rotation.

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All I can say at this point is that "Take It" and "Whuddup" are the best Hip-Hop singles I've heard in years. I'm hyped.

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Here's a 6 minute preview of the album...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFiYaD5ZxyA

Here's an 18 minute preview of the album...

I feel that if I took my favorite songs off Exit 13 and this album, I'd have a solid album that I really like...lol.

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Heh. I combined songs from Exit 13 and Todd Smith on my last CD.

Just looking up some of his in-between singles, there are a lot of them!

Superballer

Flow is raw, but love the Fox Sports theme cut up

NCIS:

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I don't believe my eyes that "Take It" isn't on the standard version of the album (and was was removed from Amazon for download. All the legit LL fans NEED to pick up the album at Target, featuring FOUR BONUS TRACKS.

http://www.target.com/p/ll-cool-j-authentic-only-at-target/-/A-14524690#?lnk=sc_qi_detaillink

1. Bath Salt
2. Not Leaving You Tonight Feat. Fitz & The Tantrums with Eddie Van Halen
3. New Love Feat. Charlie Wilson
4. We Came To Party Feat. Maserati Cool J, Snoop Dogg & Fatman Scoop
5. Give Me Love Feat. Seal
6. Something About You (Love The World) Feat. Charlie Wilson, Earth, Wind & Fire & Melody Thornton

7. Bartender Please Feat. Snoop Dogg, Bootsy Collins &Travis Barker
8. Whaddup Feat. Chuck D, Travis Barker, Tom Morello & Z-Trip
9. Between The Sheetz Feat. Mickey Shiloh
10. Closer Feat. Monica
11. Waiting On You Feat. Babyface & Noelle Scaggs(Target Exclusive)
12. Jump On It Feat. Travis Barker(Target Exclusive)
13. Take It Feat. Joe(Target Exclusive)
14. Remember Me Feat. Alicia Meyers(Target Exclusive)

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Big day! LL fans, be sure pick up the new album today. Many of us don't feel that this is one of his strongest, but it's not often that a legit emcee release an album at a mainstream level anymore. Downloaders, considering picking up an actual CD. Remember that that Target has an exclusive version with 4 bonus tracks, including "Take It" featuring Joe.

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Alright, I got the album earlier today and I'm loving it. Much more than I thought I would. Keep in mind I listened to the previews of the album above and felt it was hit or miss. I was wrong. I feel that with this album, LL has balanced old school and new school, artistic and traditional, organic and mainstream. It's a perfect balance of masculine/street rap and emotional/honest/love Hip-Hop. Another thing that's very unique is that the album has many guest artists, but 90% of the time, they add flavor to the music, but distract from the fact that this is an LL Cool J and that he doesn't need the help of other artists. These guests artists are are also NOT today's top 40 artists, they are well respected artists from different decades and music genres. The newer artists are ones I've never heard of. The album is free from an explicit lyrics sticker, but require a very small handful of edits simply because his goal wasn't to be squeaky clean. The album is dope. I'm pretty sure most LL fans are going to be happy with it. I urge everyone to give it an honest listen.

Of course, one of the benefits of buying albums is that you can read where the artist is coming from. I don't want to take away from what LL wrote in the album, but you read about important he things music is. All music. And how it's important ONLY that it reflect the person making music, though he hopes people like what they hear. He goes on to talk about not caring about sales or following a format for the album. On your first listen, you can tell that he cares about the quality of the music, but that he's just having fun with it too. ...Here's my review...

BATH SALT - This is a dope album opener. It's aggressive and LL is hungry. Yeah, there's some bragging, but it's all true. The beat will rock the speakers in your ride. This is like a modern day club banger with unique production. This one is definitely for the fellas.

NOT LEAVING YOU TONIGHT w/ Fitz & The Tanrums and Eddie Van Halen - The beat is a bit haunting and mysterious. It's modern, but not futuristic. This is NOT one of the LL love songs, but it is about relationships. You'll know what mean when you hear it.

NEW LOVE w/ Charlie Wilson - Lyrically, this song falls in the category of an LL love song, but musically the sound is just moving. A great mix of Hip-Hop and R-N-B/Funk. Charlie Wilson adds flavor to this without overshining...even tho' he's an R-N-B/Funk legend with decades of great music behind him.

WE CAME TO PARTY w/ Snoop Dogg + Fatman Scoop - Most of you hear this since it was shared in this post weeks ago. Musically, it has a 2000's mainstream rap sound that doesn't break any new ground. Since it's the only song like that on the album, it's all good. LL is crazy hungry and Fatman Scoop just bring energy by screaming like he always does. Snoop brings a contrast to LL's aggressive rhymes with his laid back and classic Snoop flow. It's okay to nod your head to this. The 80's LL samples mixed in the beat just add flavor.

GIVE ME LOVE w/ Seal - This is a gem in my eyes. Seal's gentle, raspy, soulful vocals open the track and bless it throughout. This is a LL love joint, but it's too good to call it predictable. LL uses his low key "I Need Love" delivery. It's a great mix of old and new. The sound is low key and provides a unique and moody vibe for the song.

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU ( LOVE THE WORLD) w/ Charlie Wilson, Earth, Wind, & Fire, and Melody Thornton - This is officially for the grown and sexy. This is the closest thing you'll ever year to late 70's-mid 80's soul/funk. This is feel good. Lyrically, it's a love song, but it's much more than that. The song is just golden.

BARTENDER PLEASE w/ Snoop Dogg, Bootsy Collins, and Travis Barker - This song has a great energy and a good mix of live instruments and production. It's Hip-Hop, it's braggadocios, it's fly, it's fun.

WHADDUP w/ Chuck D, Travis Barker, Tom Morello, and Z-Trip - You've heard this. This is straight Hip-Hop. This is pure energy. LL is hungry and the only bad thing is that Chuck D doesn't get a verse. Cut Creator and Travis Barker get live on this one.

BETWEEN THE SHEETZ w/ Micky Shiloh - This is a tasteful sex jam with cute female vocals on the hook and an understate beat. In some ways, this reminds me of a new song intended for Todd Smith. If you didn't like Tood Smith, don't take that as a bad thing.

CLOSER - This is a bit of a slick late 90's feel to it mixed with a modern new jack swing R-N-B feel. This sounds like Spring time to me. You almost want the legendary Monica to shine more, but like the other vocalists on the album, she handles the hook with just a few ad-libs buried in the musical mix.

LIVE FOR YOU w/ Brad Paisley - Okay, I didn't even notice this was Brad Paisley. I don't know his music because I'm not into country music, but he kinda sings like a pop singer on this. The beat isn't anything too crazy...it's a bit melodic and poppy with guitars over the modern beat that is hard to pot into on genre.

WE'RE THE GREATEST w/ Eddie Van Halen - This has a great urban bump to it. The guitars add a unique, somewhat sinister sound to the song. LL is pretty aggressive on this one, defending his place in Hip-Hop. When I turn this up, I can't help but nod my head so hard that I need pain killers for my neck. <- That wasn't corny...I really mean it...lol.

***TARGET EXCLUSIVE TRACKS*** Y'all NEED to get the Target version...the bonus tracks are amongst the best

WAITING ON YOU w/ Babyface and Noelle Scaggs - This is a smoothed modern R-N-B song. The more you listen to the music, the more you hear in it. It's just a smooth love song. For some reason, I really just wanna listen to this one at night time.

JUMP ON IT - This is a straight Hip-Hop jam. It's not TRYING to be anything...street, R-N-B, pop...just straight Hip-Hop. It's LL just flexing his authentic Hip-Hop style. This is one of my favorites, EASY.

TAKE IT w/ Joe - Y'all heard this. It's got a smooth, thick, 90's sound. It's a sexy, love jam. I can't believe after making a video to it and everyone loving it, it's only showing up as a bonus track on this exclusive version. He meant it when he said he wasn't going for chart positions because I'm totally questioning that move.

REMEMBER ME w/ Alicia Meyers - This is an other upbeat, timeless Hip-Hop jam. This is his big shout out to all of his different listeners. This is another favorite of mine.

To sum things up, I hope this album BLOWS UP. It has the power to change the commercial face of Hip-Hop moving forward. It could get the foot in the door for dope emcees to find their way back on the radio. I looked at the credits of the album after listening to it, and I was surprised to see that the Trackmasters produced about half of it!! One or two songs made me think of the Trackmasters when I heard them but I had no idea that they were on the album. A new producer, Jaylien, did the other half. And "Remember Me" was produced by the legendary Marly Marl.

Give this album an honest listen. This is a unique breath of fresh air for Hip-Hop music. Only after having it for a few hours, it has refreshed my soul and given me an excitement for music that I rarely get anymore...I kinda feel like a teenager again.

Well done, LL Cool J.

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