Throwback Thursday: LL Cool J – “Loungin” (Remix) [featuring Total]
In a recent post on this blog’s Instagram page, LL Cool J was forced to defend his decision to release new music in 2020.
LL Cool J is no Jay-Z, but what we’re not gonna do is disrespect one of the legends of this rap shit. Also, I think it’s important to normalize the idea of rappers releasing new music well past the age of 35.
Because too many of you young’ns seem to have forgotten, this week’s TBT post is a reminder of LL Cool J’s greatness.
In June of 1996, LL released “Loungin” (featuring Total) as the third and final single from his sixth LP, Mr. Smith. The album version is a cool lil jam that samples Al B Sure!’s “Nite and Day,” but its remix, which samples Bernard Wright’s “Who Do You Love,” is the true classic.
Both versions of “Loungin” are so different that one has to wonder why Big Elly was ever allowed to pass this new song off as a remix. Their beats, melodies and lyrics are completely different, and while I live for a remix that sounds different from its original, I’d like to be able to identify some commonalities if we’re going to call it a remix. But I digress.
The “Loungin” remix is a laid-back chune that is so ’90s that it makes you wanna throw on a Kangol hat and sip on some Alize. Kima, Keisha and Pam killed the hook and LL Cool J rapped his ass off. And like every other mid-’90s jam, “Loungin” is about creeping with another person’s significant other.
The “Loungin” video was also peak ’90s. Pool party, Lexus chip, lime green outfits, you name it. And of course, there’s LL Cool J pouring chocolate syrup down the leg of his love interest — on the sidewalk while she sits on the hood of his car, no less. The ’90s were different.
“Loungin” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the third top 10 from Mr. Smith and one of LL Cool J’s biggest hits. It was also one of the biggest songs on 1996. Respect Big Elly.