Phenomenon

Album: Phenomenon (1997)
Charted: 9 55

Songfacts®:

  • This song was the first single from the 1997 album of the same name. It was produced by Sean "Puffy" Combs, who, at the time, was the go-to producer for hit songs. Combs' rap name used to be Puff Daddy, but he later became P. Diddy and then just Diddy. The song finds LL seducing a woman in a club with his quiet confidence. His edge is his sensitive side - this is the guy who did the first slow rap hit with "I Need Love" back in 1987. Ten years later, he asks in "Phenomenon," "Do you really wanna thug or do ya want love?"
  • This track samples two different songs: "Who Is He And What Is He To You?" by Creative Source and "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash. The lyric "something like a phenomenon" and the beat were taken from "White Lines," while the rest of the song resembles the Creative Source song.
  • LL Cool J appeared in an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles wearing a T-shirt with "Phenomenon" written across the front. The episode was titled "Predator" and it aired during season 1 of the show in October 2009.
  • The influential Canadian DJ Chris Sheppard included this track on his highly popular Groove Station 4 compilation/remix album in 1998.

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