6 of the Best LL Cool J Lyrics

Earlier this month, LL Cool J joined fellow rap icons like Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, and more on stage at MTV’s Video Music Awards for a performance celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. For his portion of the set LL rapped two of his most notable hits, “I’m Bad” (1987) and “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1990),

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This performance surely reminded audiences all across the country how impactful LL was as an MC. However, considering his heyday came about three to four decades ago, we figured some folks might need even more of a refresher. So, below we listed six of the best lyrics from LL.

Disclaimer: Though he’s helped write other all-time hip-hop hits such as “Can You Rock It Like This” by Run-DMC and “No Diggity” by Blackstreet, we decided to keep the list focused on songs from LL’s solo catalog.

I’m sick and tired of the stories that you always tell / Shakespeare couldn’t tell a story that well / See, you’re the largest liar that was ever created / You and Pinocchio are probably related

From “That’s a Lie” featuring Russell Simmons, the third track on Side 2 of LL’s debut studio album Radio.

Don’t call it a comeback, I been here for years / I’m rocking my peers, putting suckas in fear / Making the tears rain down like a monsoon / Listen to the bass go boom / Explosions, overpowering / Over the competition, I’m towering

From the aforementioned “Mama Said Knock You Out,” the title track for LL’s fourth album from 1990.

[RELATED: The 20 Best LL Cool J Quotes]

Why do you like Cool J? (It ain’t rock and roll!) / ‘Cause it ain’t the glory days with Bruce Springsteen / I’m not a virgin so I know I’ll make Madonna scream / You hated Michael and Prince all the way, ever since / If their beats were made of meat, then they would have to be mince / Rock the bells!

From the Rick Rubin-produced “Rock The Bells,” the first song on Side 2 of Radio (1985).

Prince of the growl is on the prowl / How You Like Me Now punk? You living foul /
Here’s what my game is, kill is what my aim is / A washed up rapper needs a washer, my name is–, Jack the Ripper

From “Jack The Ripper,” a 1998 diss towards Kool Moe Dee who started the feud with a diss track of his own titled “How You Like Me Now.”

Ask Canibus, he ain’t understanding this / Cause ninety-nine percent of his fans don’t exist / I’m going underground and blowing your rep down / Next time, save that shit for the Lyricist Lounge / Or a house party, where you can battle some clown / On top of all that, I beat your homeless ass down

From “The Ripper Strikes Back,” another diss track directed at Jamaican-born rapper Canibus in 1998.

A old man, when people ask you what you did with your life / You’ll say “I hated L.L. and I carried a big knife” / Every day is a chase, every day is a race / And every day you’re being overpowered by my bass

From “The Breakthrough,” the eighth song on LL Cool J’s sophomore studio album Bigger and Deffer (1987).

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

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