[youtube id=”SQsd7y5YbZw”]LL Cool J’s whispered flow on “Phenomenon” was different than his voice on the posse song “4,3,2,1” and even the romantic spoken words of “I Need Love.” The feeling was sexy and calm as he rapped about an extraordinary woman he meets and eventually starts a new life with somewhere in the world. Diddy’s Hitmen producers gave the song a stripped down beat driven by a sample of Creative Source’s version of Bill Withers’ “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)?.” The Phenomenon album was LL Cool J’s seventh and it would be his last one from the ’90s. Diddy was the executive producer of Phenomenon and it helped cement LL Cool J’s legacy for the ’90s 12 years after debuting as a hip-hop pioneer.
LL Cool J’s 13th album, Authentic was released in 2013. In 2017, he became the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors. He’s has starred on NCIS: Los Angeles since 2009 and in 2018 he launched his SiriusXM Rock The Bells channel.