Ain't Nobody Better: The LL Cool J Valentine's Day Playlist

Once upon a time, LL Cool J was merely a Kangol wearing rapper who aimed for the ladies long before urban radio knew of such things from rappers. Now, he's on CBS Tuesdays on an NCIS spinoff and is hosting The Grammys this year. Not bad for someone I thought would shrink into musical obscurity as he continued to reinvent himself in the '90s.

In another inexplicable case of reinventions that worked, LL Cool J decided to interpolate Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" into a song for the Beavis and Butt-head Do America soundtrack with the same name. Oddly enough the track reached number one in the UK while also garnering accolades as being the background song while cartoon Bruce Willis had sex with cartoon Demi Moore on film. Or at least got to second base, whatever.

While it may be the weirdest LL jam to ever reach #1, it's certainly not the best and considering Valentine's Day is on the horizon, here are five odes a ton better than "Ain't Nobody."


5. "Hey Lover"

LL and the smooth prom-ready sounds of Boyz II Men boomed from Jeeps and cars. Still, LL is a cold dirty mack, knowing full well that this particular lady already has a man and still goes on. And you wonder why men have to fight every night to prove their love.

4. "Luv U Better"

The last LL record to spawn a serious comeback and ushered in the "God Damn, LL Is Fine As Hell" from any woman within walking distance. Beefcake LL pretty much made men across the country look like pusses because we wouldn't dare go that hard in the gym.

3. "Doin' It"

There's being simple and being overly complex for no sheer reason. In 1993, LL made a song called "Pink Cookies In A Plastic Bag Getting Crushed By Buildings". In 1996, LL just said skip the dental dam and went straight forward with "Doin It". In 1996, LL won because you'll never and I mean NEVER hear the former played at any of Houston's most jumping strip joints.

2. "Around The Way Girl"

Not a slow jam but the Mary Jane Girls sample rocks for one and two, made us all want to chase after the girl next door instead of the girl always on the scene. Don't worry, you get screwed over both ways but at least one's a hell of a lot sweeter about it.

1. "I Need Love"

The quintessential LL Cool J song that probably won your mom over when your dad messed up back in high school. For all we know, this song may possibly be the reason why the world has to deal with Mac Miller. At this point in time, there's no clear way of telling you whether or not that such an instance is a bad thing. I hope.

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Brandon Caldwell has been writing about music and news for the Houston Press since 2011. His work has also appeared in Complex, Noisey, the Village Voice & more.
Contact: Brandon Caldwell