On June 9, 1989, one of rap’s biggest heavyweights, LL Cool J, released his 3rd studio album, titled Walking With a Panther was released. This is one of the very few cases where we’re lucky enough to witness the rapper-eventually-turned-actor near another being with a chain bigger than his. Though, in this case, that being is, cleverly, a panther. A swagged out panther, at that.
The album made it high on the charts, but it wasn’t received all that well by hip hop fanatics at the time. Love songs like “I’m that Type of Guy” and “One Shot at Love” took away from the rapper’s hard edge. This is a big part of the reason why his jam “Mama Said Knock you Out” followed this album. A full-length album by the same title came with the single and gave LL exactly what he needed.
Still, despite the criticism, this album is overall a good one. Whether you agree with love songs in hip hop or not, there are some good, good tracks on here.
To look back, we’ll look at the album’s first single, “Goin Back to Cali”:
For a look into the criticsm that LL received from some of the media, as well as fans, we’ll look at one of the album’s most “lovey dovey” tracks. This track is titled “One Shot at Love”:
The further we got into LL Cool J’s career, the bigger he got. He’s more invested in his acting, at this point, than he is in his rapping, but he’s put together a solid enough catalog over the years to take as many breaks as he wants. This album isn’t necessarily seen as one of his classics, but most still see it as a good album by (at the time) a young rapper on the rise. People just didn’t realize how steep the climb would ultimately be.