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LL won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992 for the title track.The album's immense success propelled Mama Said Knock You Out to be LL's top selling album of his career (as of 2002) and solidified his status as a hip-hop icon.With the breakthrough success of his hit single "I Need a Beat" and the Radio LP, LL Cool J became one of the first hip-hop acts to achieve mainstream success along with Kurtis Blow and Run-D. Rubin's production credit on the back cover reads "REDUCED BY RICK RUBIN", referring to his minimalist production style, which gave the album its stripped-down and gritty sound.This style would serve as one of Rubin's production trademarks and would have a great impact on future hip-hop productions.s Pop albums chart.When 4-year-old LL found them, blood was everywhere." In an episode of Finding Your Roots, LL learned his mother was adopted by Eugene Griffith and Ellen Hightower.
By using the mixer he had received from his grandfather, Smith produced and mixed his own demos and sent them to various record companies throughout New York City, including Def Jam.
Shortly after its release, the album sold over 500,000 copies in its first five months, eventually selling over 1 million copies by 1988, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The album's success also helped in contributing to Rick Rubin's credibility and repertoire as a record producer.
By 1989, the album had earned platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with sales exceeding one million copies; it had previously earned a gold certification in the United States on April 14, 1986. Gigs at larger venues were offered to LL as he would join the 1986-'87 Raising Hell tour, opening for Run-D. Radio, along with Raising Hell (1986) and Licensed to Ill (1986), would form a trilogy of New York City-based, Rubin-helmed albums that helped to diversify hip-hop.
The second video, directed by Hype Williams, was "Freeze" featuring Lyfe Jennings.
In July 2006, LL Cool J announced details about his final album with Def Jam Recordings, the only label he has ever been signed to. The album was originally scheduled to be executively produced by fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent.
LL's biological great-uncle was hall of fame boxer John Henry Lewis.