The DEFinition

When a rapper's cd booklet includes plugs for his upcoming movies instead of for his other albums, you have every right to suspect that he has put his music career on the back turntable. But on the eleventh record of his amazingly consistent twenty-year career, LL Cool J has as much swaggering presence as ever. His greatest subject matter is himself: "No need for ghostwriters/Every year I get tighter." And if none of the tracks here have the macho menace of his 2003 appearance on J. Lo's Number One "All I Have," he sounds completely up-to-date, thanks largely to Timbaland producing half of The DEFinition. There's nothing new about a track such as "Apple Cobbler" — the bloopity beats sound like any number of Missy Elliott tunes, and LL's lascivious food metaphors date back to his 1990 track "Milky Cereal" — but the Cool J candy is as tasty as ever.