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Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J (Def Jam, 1990)

Mama Said Knock You Out was LL Cool J’s fourth studio album, and every previous album had a special distinction — Radio was his debut record and received the most critical acclaim; Bigger and Deffer still stands as his biggest-selling album; Walking with a Panther saw LL Cool
J branching out to include ballads. Then, in 1990, along came Mama Said Knock You Out, LL Cool J’s response to those criticisms of “being soft.” The album went on to reach #16 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and was certified Double Platinum.

The lead single off the album, To da Break of Dawn was a diss track said to be aimed at MC Hammer, Ice-T and Kool Moe Dee and was included on the soundtrack to the movie House Party. The follow-up single, The Boomin System is listed as the true lead single. The song peaked at #48 on the Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Singles charts. Around the Way Girl became LL Cool J’s first Top 10 single, peaking at #9 on the Hot 100. It went to #1 on both the R&B and dance charts as well. Around the Way Girl was certified Gold in January 1991. The fourth single was the title track and though it didn’t perform as well on the charts as Around the Way Girl, Mama Said Knock You Out (the single) did win LL Cool J a Grammy in 1992 for Best Rap Solo Performance. Mama Said Knock You Out peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 but went top #1 on the Rap Singles chart and was also certified Gold. The single was also featured in the movie The Hard Way in which LL Cool J starred alongside Michael J. Fox. The final single off the album, 6 Minutes of Pleasure, became a minor hit, peaking at #95 on the Hot 100 and #26 on the R&B chart.


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