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LL Cool J: "Control Myself" (feat. Jennifer Lopez)

LL Cool J: "Control Myself" (feat. Jennifer Lopez)

Label:Def Jam
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Jess Harvell | Posted 5/10/2006

He’s looking good, you have to give him that. James Todd Smith started getting his “you’re not over the hill, you are the hill” birthday cards a few years ago, but he’s still got abs that shame us every time we catch sight of our twentysomething midsection coming out of the shower. LL hasn’t had to prove himself as a lover since his bird chest ballooned into pecs the size of basketballs. Whither the scrawny, confused adolescent of “I Need Love”?

Long gone. In a genre where you’re tired after five years, LL’s narcissism in the face of continuing success has grown so extreme as to render his duet partners superfluous. LL’s crazy in love, and we all know who with. So where does that leave “Control Myself”? If you wanted to know what a beat with no bottom sounds like, you’ve found one. Compared to 2004’s “Headsprung,” where the bass was the only thing going on, “Control Myself” is flat as hell. (Even weirder because it samples Afrika Bambaataa’s “Looking for the Perfect Beat,” back when people made electro with actual bass in it.) LL resurrects the “Going Back to Cali” flow with limited success. He and J-Lo trade some nonsense “za za za” back and forth, and the lyrics melt on contact with the brain.

Which is not to say it isn’t without a certain plastic charm, but the chance of LL making a great record ever again stands at zero. At 38, LL can coast on his laurels, put out mediocre records that still go Top 10, and take intermittent breaks to make killer-shark movies. We’re just waiting for his metabolism to catch up with him.

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