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LL Cool J is truely one of the greatests of time. He's pioneered Hip-Hop and influenced nearly anyone who's ever touched a mic. He's adapted over the years and always picked the peices shortly after a time where some say he may have dropped the ball. In the days where commerical success often means u have 2 be phoney and untalented...and where old schoolers have either given up or struggled 2 keep on with jacked up (or no) record deals...LL still outshines nearly everyone. The new album has a retro kinda feel 2 it. Some of it is a bit of old with the new...other trax have a 90's feel 2 them. And while there are alot of guests on the album, they rarely take attention from LL would can hold any album on his own. When u are tired of the music that lacks intellegence (Lil' Jon), music that is only being made 2 make money (Jay-Z) and music that is tasteless and disrespectful (Eminem)...LL always offers an alternative. Let's break it down...

IT'S LL AND SANTANA - This high energy joint brings the old with the new. LL's presence on the track is dripping with swagga. Just classic aggresive LL. Juelz Santana is on the higher end of 2day's commercial rappers. So this bridges the younger and radio fans over 2 the Living Legend.

CONTROL MYSELF - The beat is straight old school presented in a new school kinda way. Thank Jermaine Dupri (who's old school roots are always overlooked) for that. The fact that he revisists his "Going Back To Cali" flow is genious. Jennifer Lopez supplys the addictive hook. This is LL reaching out 2 the ladies in the club. Y'all have heard this...movin' on.

FAVORITE FLAVOR - This definitly has a mid-90's feel 2 it. It sounds alot like that Mary J. Blige 'My Life' kinda vibe. LL is laidback on this one. Just a R-N-B heavy love joint. Just dope. They gotta release this 4 the summertime!!

FREEZE - This is the first time LL has dipped in 2 soul on this level. Some people may not like the slow tempo...but it's a totally new thing 4 me. I love it. The slow beat mixed with LL's slightly rushed raps is just cool 2 me. Lyfe brings that southern soul brotha vibe. Another love joint. It grew on me quick.

BEST DRESS - It looks like LL and Jamie Foxx mended their wounds. Just 5 years ago they were beefing after doing Any Given Sunday. We'll, this Neptunes joint is a classy retro-heavy song. Another one 4 the ladies. It has LL persuading a female 2 leave her man who isn't treating her right.

PRESERVE THE SEXY - This b-level joint has some fire 2 it. Teairra Mari hasn't really proven herself when it comes 2 music...but she kinda takes on the role that LeShawn would be if she waz on the album. As the song goes on, she sings a lil' more instead of the rap/sung style. This song is just about being on top of your game. LL is right at home when it comes 2 his flow on this one.

WHAT YOU WANT - Man, i don't like Freeway at all. But i love this song. Lots of energy on this one. This track brings out classic LL. Another joint 2 help u remember who is the king. The interaction with Freeway is cool...but so many more emcees deserve 2 be lyrically beside him instead.

I'VE CHANGED - Man, this one is dope. Trackmasters came out of the woodwork 2 give us a real good beat on this. It's got some tension 2 it that fits perfect with the lyrics. LL talks about losing his girl and how he tries 2 get her back even tho' he's got some obsticals in the way. Ryan Toby (of City High...and from the Big Willie Style album) is on the hook. This isn't his typical appearance tho'...he has this old school soul kinda touch 2 his vocals. I can totally relate 2 this song...it's just dope.

OOH WEE - LL gets Ginuwine 2 back him up here. The beat is really smooth and Ginuwine just takes it 2 the next level. This might be another love song...but i can't say that i'm getting tired of them at all. Just dope. This kinda sounds like a late 90's track 2 me.

#1 FAN - This kinda has a late 90's feel 2. It's a slick Hip-Hop beat with a dash of a latin style thrown in2 the mix. LL's delievery is a sing-song-rap kinda style. I love it.

DOWN THE AISLE - OOooooohhhhh weeeeee!!!! This is so smooth. It's a slick R-N-B beat with a mellow tempo groove. The lyrics are very deep and personal. Half of this album is about love, and each love song has a different approach 2 it. This is the climax of it all. How many emcees and rappers can pour their heart out about getting married. 112 puts their best foot forward. Over the years, i've kinda outgrown them, but this is a step back 2 where they should be. Just amazing.

WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT - I love this song. If u are gonna do a fly Hip-Hop/Gospel track...there's only a few people u can get on board 2 keep it contemporary...and Mary Mary would be one of those groups. LL comes with straight 2 the point inspirational lyrics. Every bar has more heart and experience in it that what most rappers put in their entire albums....or their entire library of music. Dope...period.

SO SICK (REMIX) - I love the original...and even tho' they abandon all the things that made the original song dope, they do it justice. It took me a few listens 2 realize this. It has a early/mid 90's vibe 2 it Rough, yet a lil' smooth. Just a good remix.

All in all, i love this album. Yes, i am bias. I've grown up on LL and love every album he's ever done. Of course i'm gonna favor him since he's bring positive lyrics and dosen't cuss (anymore). And i'm also madly in love with someone in my life right now...so that dosen't hurt either. But even if that wazn't the case. The sound and vibe of the album is unlike any other album released in years. Every lyric is dope and LL is flawless on the mic. Do yourself a favor and check the album. Most places still have it for $9.99 and $11.99 this week.

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Exceptional review AJ, except I personally like the track with Freeway better than the one with Juelz Santana 'cause there wasn't much chemistry between Juelz and LL even though they both ripped the track individually, you should post your review in amazon.com like I did, some people might be dissapointed 'cause they always look for another "Mama Said Knock You Out" but if they judge the album for what it is, I'm sure they'd actually enjoy it very much, especially it's better than basically everything anybody else is doing right now...

Edited by bigted
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I actually like "What You Want" better than "It's LL And Santana." But when it comes 2 mic skillz, i like Juelz Santana more than Freeway. I don't plan on getting albums by either of them...but Juelz Santana sounds like he be more my style. I wish he's nixed them and put FP and Busta in their place...ha ha.

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