3. Starsky And Hutch
4. Another Dollar
5. Nobody Can Freak You
6. Hot, Hot, Hot
8. Wanna Get Paid
10. Don't Be Late, Don' T Come Too Soon
- Personnel: LL Cool J, Redman, Method Man, Cannibus, DMX, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Busta Rhymes, The Lost Boyz, Tamia, Keith Sweat (vocals); L.E.S. (various instruments); David Foreman (guitar); Myron Mckinley (Fender Rhodes); Erick Sermon (keyboards, bass, drums); Kern Brantley (bass); James Gamble (drums); Dent (programming); Poke, Tone, Curt Gowdy (drum programming); DJ Scratch (scratches); LeShaun Williams, Shantel Jones, Kenny Greene (background vocals).
- Producers include: Sean "Puffy" Combs, Trackmasterz, Poke, Tone, Erick Sermon.
- Engineers include: Michael Patterson, Lane Craven, Ken Ifill, Greg Mann, Bob Brown.
- Personnel: LL Cool J (vocals); David Foreman (guitar); Myron McKinley (Fender Rhodes piano); Erick Sermon (keyboards, drums, bass programming); James "Jamie" Gamble (drums); Dent for Sale (programming); Kurt Gowdy, Poke & Tone (drum programming); DJ Scratch (scratches); LeShaun Williams, Shantel Jones, Kenny Greene (background vocals).
- Audio Mixers: Curtis Lighty; L.E.S. ; Michael Patterson ; Poke & Tone; Richard Travali; Tommy Uzzo.
- Recording information: Hit Factory, New York, NY; Soundtrack Studios, New York, NY; Soundtracks Studios, NY; Track Record Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
- Over the years, hip-hop's reigning king has accomplished much more than the average rapper. With his own book, television sitcom, and, oh, yeah, a stack of platinum-selling albums, LL Cool J is proof-positive that hip-hop can translate to the mainstream with it's integrity intact. PHENOMENON comes 12 years after his debut, and LL still represents the essence of true hip-hop.
- LL's success is probably due to his ability to cross over without selling out, and to his versatile style. The hard-core rapper that "rocked the bells" in 1986 coexisted with the sensitive smoothie who "needed love" from all the ladies. And in 1997, while LL Cool J makes it "Hot, Hot, Hot" on an incendiary, Puffy-produced track, James Todd Smith tells his story of growing up as an abused child on "Father."
Rolling Stone (10/30/97, pp.65-66) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...The love zone is where L.L. dominates on this album....he holds his own against certifiable heavyweights Busta Rhymes...and Method Man and Redman..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/17/97, p.73) - "...With its happy beats, easy funk bass, and eager R&B melodies, PHENOMENON best recalls the early rap LL grew up on. Think Sugar Hill for the '90s, but with a wholly new kind of role for LL: the rapper who never had a real father here aims to father us all."
- Rating: B+
The Source (12/97, p.179) - 3.5 Mics (out of 5) - "...PHENOMENON is, musically, a safe ride...LL knows just what he has to do to eat off another platinum plate--keep the people dancing to his latest jams..."
Rap Pages (1/98, p.97) - Solid Material - "...Uncle L has managed to maintain his rap authenticity while developing into other areas of the entertainment industry....Not too many rappers can call themselves a phenomenon and actually make you consider the possibility..."