35 Years Ago Today: LL Cool J Released His Third Album ‘Walking With A Panther’

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    LL Cool J’s “Walking with a Panther” Album: A Look Back 32 Years Later

    LL Cool J’s third studio album, Walking with a Panther, released on this day in 1989, continues to be a significant milestone in Hip Hop history. The album, which topped the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart and reached #6 on the Billboard 200, showcased LL’s ability to reinvent his sound while maintaining his Hip Hop roots.

    Def Jam Recordings, at the time, was pushing to bring Hip Hop into the mainstream, and Walking with a Panther was a key part of that effort. Despite some criticism that the album may have compromised LL’s street credibility, its commercial success and impact on the genre cannot be denied.

    One of the most notable aspects of the album was LL Cool J’s introduction as a self-produced MC. Working with Dwanye Simon after parting ways with his original production team, LL proved his skills not only as a rapper but also as a beat maker.

    The album featured hit singles like “Going Back to Cali” and “Jingling Baby,” which solidified LL Cool J’s status as a crossover artist appealing to both male and female audiences. Much like a precursor to artists like Drake, LL Cool J was able to balance street credibility with mainstream appeal, making Walking with a Panther a timeless classic in Hip Hop history.