L.L. Cool J: Walking With a Panther (1989)

ll cool j pantherBy Scott Goldfine

Like the tail of a screaming comet, this new LP by rap’s biggest ego (and that’s saying a lot) arrives on the heels of the across-the-board smash single “I’m That Type of Guy.” That cut, surely to wind up as one of the summer’s biggest hits, is buoyed by a relentlessly slammin’ groove and propelled by L.L.’s smooth but brazenly aggressive rap. Unfortunately, the rest of the generous collection — 16 tracks on wax, 18 on CD and 20 on cassette ― isn’t as inventive.

While the East Coast rapper’s first two albums were particularly noteworthy for their humorous lyrics, this one is hamstrung by a number of routine boasting efforts and stalls on a trio of rap ballads. However, there are some standouts, including the sing-along “Clap Your Hands,” the amusing “Big Ole Butt” and the dance nugget “Change Your Ways.”

Next time around, if L.L. wants to keep up with the Kool Moe Dees and the Public Enemies, he ought leave some material on the mixing-room floor and get busy with a condensed set of serious jams. Until then, we’ll just have to pull the cream off the top of “Walking With a Panther” and make our own versions.

GRADE: B-

Walking With The Panther GET NOW (Amazon)

Scott Goldfine

As a fervid lifelong music & film enthusiast / student, I grew up in and around the Los Angeles entertainment industry. I have worked and held many positions in various media realms, since 1998 serving as Editor-in-Chief and now Associate Publisher for Security Sales & Integration, a trade publication serving the electronic security industry. I love several genres of music & film. The former includes funk (Parliament-Funkadelic, Prince, Ohio Players, etc.); blues (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales, etc.); rock (Jack White, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, etc.); hard rock (AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, etc.); jazz (Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Crusaders, etc.); R&B (Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Gil Scott-Heron, etc.); and more. I was a club disc jockey and ran a mobile DJ company (Musical Moods) for more than 15 years, which is where the name Dr. GX originates (Doctor Good Times). Fave film genres include horror (Dawn of the Dead, Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc.); science fiction (Aliens, Terminator, 2001, etc.); action (Warriors, Road Warrior, Die Hard); westerns (Outlaw Josey Wales, Showdown at OK Corral; Wild Bunch, etc.); suspense (Jaws, Inception, Silence of the Lambs, etc.); drama (Apocalypse Now, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, etc.); and comedies (Life of Brian, Superbad, Ruthless People, etc.). I have attended many hundreds of concerts and movies (in theaters or screenings). I may as well also throw in a few favorite TV shows to give an even broader taste of my sensibilities. A handful would be Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Lost, Justified, Fargo, Seinfeld, Sopranos, South Park, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Key & Peele, Monty Python, Inside Amy Schumer, Louie, Modern Family, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Last Man on Earth, Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family and The Office. Fave authors are Stephen King, Clive Barker and Michael Crichton. I am also a big sports fan and lifelong supporter of the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB). Also enjoy my family of course, electronics/computers/AV gear, and animals, nature and outdoor activities. Graduate of Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica College and California State University Northridge (Radio-TV-Film, Psychology minor). Also studied at UCLA for kinesiology/psychology and earned post-grad Certificate in Accounting from Santa Monica College. Present main occupation is as Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Security Sales & Integration (SSI), which I joined in 1998. I am responsible for overseeing all editorial content in print. online, electronic, in-person and any other media or products for the electronic security industry's leading business-to-business trade publication. SSI is part of Framingham, Mass.-based Emerald Expositions.