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Walking with a Panther
     

Walking with a Panther

3.0 1
by LL Cool J
 

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Released at a time when hip-hop's anxieties about crossover success were at a fever pitch, Walking With a Panther found LL Cool J trying to reinvent his sound while building on the commercial breakthrough of Bigger and Deffer. Even though the album succeeded on both counts, it did so in a way that didn't sit well with

Overview

Released at a time when hip-hop's anxieties about crossover success were at a fever pitch, Walking With a Panther found LL Cool J trying to reinvent his sound while building on the commercial breakthrough of Bigger and Deffer. Even though the album succeeded on both counts, it did so in a way that didn't sit well with hip-hop purists, who began to call LL's credibility into question. Their fears about commercialism diluting the art form found a focal point in LL, the man who pioneered the rap ballad -- and there are in fact three ballads here, all of them pretty saccharine (and, tellingly, none of them singles). Apart from that, some of the concerns now seem like much ado about nothing, and there are numerous fine moments (and a few great singles) to be found on the album. It is true, though, that Walking With a Panther does end up slightly less than the sum of its parts. For one thing, it's simply too long; moreover, the force of his early recordings is missing, and there's occasionally a sense that his once-peerless technique on the mic is falling behind the times. Nonetheless, Walking With a Panther is still a fine outing on which LL proves himself a more-than-capable self-producer. The fuller, more fleshed-out sound helps keep his familiar b-boy boasts sounding fresh, and force or no force, he was in definite need of an update. On the singles -- "Going Back to Cali," "I'm That Type of Guy" (inexplicably left off All World), "Jingling Baby," and "Big Ole Butt" -- LL exudes an effortless cool; he's sly, assured, and in full command of a newfound sexual presence on record. So despite its flaws, Walking With a Panther still ranks as one of LL's stronger albums -- strong enough to make the weak moments all the more frustrating.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/1995
Label:
Def Jam
UPC:
0731452735522
catalogNumber:
527355
Rank:
30785

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

LL Cool J   Primary Artist
Cydne Monet   Vocals
Billy Patterson   Guitar
David Tobocman   Keyboards
Tony "Funky Drummer" Walls   Drums

Technical Credits

David Bianco   Engineer
Mack Davis   Composer
Steven Ett   Composer,Engineer
Jay Henry   Engineer
LL Cool J   Composer,Producer
Kevin Reynolds   Engineer
Rick Rubin   Producer
Keith Shocklee   Producer
Hank Shocklee   Producer
Dwayne "Muffla" Simon   Composer,Producer
Eric "Vietnam" Sadler   Composer,Producer
Greg Gordon   Engineer
Tony Sellari   Art Direction
Ferdinand Washington   Composer
J.T. Smith   Composer

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Walking With a Panther 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago