On May 7, hip hop legend turned actor LL Cool J will release his latest album, entitled Authentic. Although LL has been in the rap game for almost 30 years, he has consistently reinvented his style to reflect current trends. Authentic is his 13th studio album, and the first since Exit 13, which was released in 2008. (Stay current on the latest happs in the rap game.)
LL released his first single from the album. Entitled “Ratchet,” it was a huge lyrical letdown. Shortly after, he out out a track called “Take it,” featuring R&B singer Joe. Both singles failed to receive any success on the Billboard chart.
LL fans have criticized him for changing his style, saying that his true style is better than pop culture. In the past decade, LL has cleaned up his mainstream image. But it’s clear from the lyrics on his new single, “Ratchet,” that LL is not concerned with maintaining his good-guy image.
Authentic does boast some of the biggest names in hip hop, however. It has been confirmed that Trackmasters, Resto, Travis Barker and the Neptunes all contributed at least one beat to the album. In addition, the album will feature Monica, Joe Budden, Kendrick Lamar and Jennifer Lopez.
Time will tell whether Authentic can achieve the level of sales of past LL Cool J albums. The jury is still out, but on May 7, fans will know whether “they can’t live without my radio,” or if they just want to turn it off.