x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Music review: Authentic

The rap veteran fails to produce an album compelling enough to gain the ears of a younger generation.


Authentic (S-Bro Music)


While LL Cool J’s remarkable 28 years in the business have given him irrefutable respect as an artist, his latest musical offering suggests he’s lost his magic touch. His 13th album Authentic features an eclectic line-up of guest appearances – including Snoop Dogg, Travis Barker, Tom Morello, and Z-Trip – who have the once unstoppable Queens emcee acting more like a cordial host than the star of the show. However, there are some moments of brilliance. Give Me Love alongside Seal and New Love featuring Charlie Wilson possess the ladies-man R&B flavour reminiscent of his 1990s hits, and the rapper exhibits his trademark lyrical wit on Bath Salt. With his fellow rap veterans Nas and Jay Z proving there is hope yet for the ageing rapper in a genre overtaken by conspicuous auto tunes and -20-somethings, LL’s latest release falls short. And although he experiments with sound throughout Authentic (look out for two tracks featuring the rock legend Eddie Van Halen), the album isn’t compelling enough to revive interest from his old fans and gain the ears of a younger generation.


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