LL Cool J Added Girls To His Massive Fanbase On Bigger And Deffer | Review
CLASSIC RATING: 4 / 6
Released: May 29, 1987
Bigger And Deffer (also known as BAD) is LL Cool J’s second album (his first was Radio) and it also one of his best-selling albums. LL has had three double-platinum albums in his career: Bigger And Deffer (1987), Mama Said Knock You Out (1990) and Mr. Smith (1995). On the cover, you can see LL in front of his old high-school (he dropped out in 1984), while the back cover we can see LL’s grandmother basement where he lived at the time.
Surprisingly the production on Bigger And Deffer is handled by West-Coast producers (LL Cool J is from Queens, New York) L.A. Posse (who left on LL’s subsequent album) and DJ Pooh (the screenwriter of Friday the movie). Although they originate from opposite coasts, the sound meshes well with LL’s hard battle lyrics and love ballads.
Highlights on the album include ‘’I’m Bad’’, ‘’Get Down’’, ‘’I Need Love’’ and ‘’The Do Wop’’ while there are many other good moments both lyrically and musically, these tracks stand-out. Both “I’m Bad’’ and “I Need Love’’ have music videos and charted at #84 and #14 respectively.
On ‘’I’m Bad’’ the main melody is an interpolation of the theme song from the 1960s cartoon Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse, where they slow it down and play it on a keyboard. The lyrics are classic LL and he tears apart other rappers with super confident rhymes like
Got concrete rhymes, been rappin' for ten years and
Even when I'm bragging, I'm bein' sincere!
While ‘’I Need Love’’ is the complete opposite of the previous track, and is a sensitive and introspective love ballad (one of the first of its kind in rap). It features soft keyboard chords and has LL softening his vocals to match the lyrical content. It was this dynamism which made LL one of hip hop’s biggest stars for decades and a legend today.
‘’The Do Wop” sees LL Cool J revisit the 50s/60s by incorporating a Do Wop style while rapping about meeting ladies while on tour in LL playboy fashion (in contrast to “I Need Love”).
“Get Down” has an undeniably funky beat featuring a sample which sounds like it could be taken from Shaft’s Theme, and has LL rapping in an aggressive fashion to the delight of his fans who chant go LL, go LL, go LL!
Bigger And Deffer furthered LL’s already massive fan base to include teenage girls due to his music video for “I Need Love” while maintaining his initial audiences with a solid number of great battle rap songs. The beats are solid throughout, being funky, energetic, and melodic. LL would manage to prolong and maintain this album's success for another ten years which is a testament to LL Cool J’s greatness.