Amazingly, this is his ninth album, yet he still sounds fresh.
Hip-hop has never been the preserve of the modest, but few in the genre have the penchant for showing off like James Todd Smith.
, and from there on in – with Method Man, Redman and Xzibit helping to sing his praises – it’s about how much this man rocks.
Worryingly, for the young pups (especially Canibus, who gets a rocket on ‘Back Where I Belong’), he’s got a point. Furthermore, proving he’s no slouch when it comes to keeping up with musical trends, he’s brought in producers like DJ Scratch and one-time junglist Adam F to make sure his beats match up to his evergreen vocal skills. And it works – from the almost Timbaland sheen of ‘Imagine That’ and ‘Queens Is’ to the slinky modern R&B of ‘This Is Us’, this is a man who’s not content resting on his self-bestowed laurels.
Amazingly, this is his ninth album, yet he still sounds fresh. As the randy old goat doubtless tells the ladies – LL Cool J, he’s got some staying power.