Once all the bells had been rocked and his radio had been lovingly placed on the floor, James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool, J took his one-man lyrical wrecking crew to new heights upon the release of his sophomore album, Bigger and Deffer.
Whether he was chillin’ with Kanday at the Bristol Hotel, watching Cut Creator go, professing his undeniable badness or wooing throngs of women via his explanations of a need for love, LL Cool J became a force to be reckoned with. And the Hip Hop game would never forget it.
In fact we are still celebrating this momentous event a whopping 30 years later. For it was on July 22nd, 1987 that Bigger And Deffer Dropped.
WATCH- The Shadow League "Bigger And Deffer" 30 Year Tribute
LL Cool J "Bigger And Deffer" 30 Year Anniversary
Lyrically impenetrable, Cool J would become synonymous with battling anyone who dared enter the spitting ring. While this was not a new phenomenon, it was still something like a phenomenon as emcee after emcee was dissed and dismissed with full fanfare and Mr Smith was the one packing their bags and sending them straight out of the Hip Hop game.
Bigger and Deffer was a catalyst for this lyrical poetry in motion, as he declared ultimate supremacy upon all other artists throughout the album. However, this message was probably the most effective on his first release from the album on a cut called, “I’m Bad” in which Cool J declared,
“MC's retreat, cause they know I can beat 'em
And eat 'em in a battle and the ref won't cheat 'em.”
Music video by LL Cool J performing I'm Bad. (C) 1987 LL Cool J under exclusive license to The Island Def Jam Music Group
Upon saying the kind of rhymes that made emcees wish that he’d die, LL did a complete 180 on the masses when he released a Hip Hop ballad entitled “I Need Love”. It just solidified his position as the dude all the guys wanted to be and all the girls wanted to be with.
Needless to say, the new first of its kind teenage love anthem soared to the top of the charts with a bullet. And that bullet was shot from the metaphorical gun of a youthful LL Cool J.
Bigger And Deffer went on to sell more than 2 Million copies and was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA. Not too shabby for a then 19-year-old from Queens.
Bigger And Deffer would be but one of the long line of album stepping stones that would propel LL into being a household name for much more than an urban audience.
Music video by LL Cool J performing I Need Love. (C) 1987 LL Cool J under exclusive license to The Island Def Jam Music Group
But it was the bravado, strength, lyrical venom, vulnerability and complexity of persona that Bigger and Deffer exuded that would in large part be the catalyst for the career that would still be to come.
He has made it onto many Hip Hop fan’s Greatest Of All Times lists and for one very good reason. He deserves it. We’ve said it before, he even said it before, and we’ll say it again...he’s bad!!!