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Mama Said Knock You Out marked the first of many self-reinventions LL Cool J would undergo to adapt to the hip-hop's changing atmosphere. Made as a comeback album after the critically-maligned Walking With a Panther, Mama Said Knock You Out revived the hardcore image of LL Cool J's early days that appeared to be damaged by his previous album. It was a critical and commercial success, and helped restore his reputation as a hip-hop icon.
The album spawned four hit singles: "The Boomin' System," "Around the Way Girl," (which sampled clips from the Mary Jane Girls song "All Night Long"), the hard-hitting title track itself (which received special notice after LL Cool J's dynamic performance of it during an episode of MTV's Unplugged), and "6 Minutes Of Pleasure." The diss record "To Da Break Of Dawn" was named number 11 on XXL's 20 greatest diss records of all time.The album included themes of police misconduct, spirituality along with back-to-basics hip-hop party rocking. The album reached No. 16 in the U.S. charts, and eventually went on to sell over two million copies according to the RIAA. In 2005, comedian Chris Rock listed it as the sixth greatest hip-hop album ever in a guest article for Rolling Stone.
All tracks produced by Marley Marl and co-produced by LL Cool J except for "Jingling Baby (Remixed But Still Jingling,)" which is produced by LL Cool J and remixed by Marley Marl. Bobcat is an additional producer on the title track.
- "The Boomin' System"
- "Around The Way Girl'"
- "Eat 'Em Up L Chill"
- "Mr. Good Bar'"
- "Cheesy Rat Blues"
- "Farmers Blvd. (Our Anthem)"
- "Mama Said Knock You Out"
- "Milky Cereal"
- "Jingling Baby (Remixed But Still Jingling)"
- "To Da Break of Dawn'" (Diss to MC Hammer, Ice T & Kool Moe Dee)
- "6 Minutes of Pleasure"
- "Illegal Search'"
- "The Power of God"
- "Mama Said Knock You Out (Steering Mix)"
- "Around the Way Girl" samples from Mary Jane Girls' "All Night Long", Keni Burke's "Risin' To The Top" and Honey Drippers' "Impeach The President".
- "Eat Em Up L Chill" samples from George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Five Stairsteps' "Don't Change Your Love".
- "Mr. Good Bar" samples from All The People's "Cramp Your Style", James Brown's "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved" and ESG's "UFO".
- "Murdergram (Live at rapmania)" samples from James Brown's "My Thang", Earth, Wind & Fire's "Moment of Truth" and ESG's "UFO".
- "Farmers Blvd. (Our Anthem)" samples Willie Hutch's "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" and "Mack Man" and Barry White's "I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More, Babe".
- "Mama Said Knock You Out" samples from James Brown's "Funky Drummer", Chicago Gangsters' "Gangster Boogie" and Sly & The Family Stone's "Trip to Your Heart" and "Sing A Simple Song".
- "To da Break of Dawn" samples from James Brown's "Funky President", Maceo & All the King's Men's "Got to Getcha" and Pleasure's "Joyous".
- "6 Minutes of Pleasure" samples from James Brown's "Funky President".
- "Illegal Search" samples from James Brown's "Mind Power" and Rufus Thomas' "The Breakdown Pt. I & II".
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