100 Best Albums of the '90s

From Moby to Nirvana, the records that defined a decade

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LL Cool J, 'Mama Said Knock You Out'

56. LL Cool J, 'Mama Said Knock You Out'

Recovering from the flop of 1989's Walking With a Panther, LL dusted himself off and brought a new edge and power to his big-mouthed style as he reached full manhood and hip-hop-veteran status. With huge punch lines, gigantic bravado and that LL voice filled with charisma and cool, Mama speaks of the less-dangerous side of street life — booming car radios and jingling babies and around-the-way girls with Fendi bags. The legendary Marley Marl supplied the wildly danceable funk, the album was a tomahawk dunk — and LL's career, once again, was in full effect.

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