LL Cool J - Todd Smith   
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written by Chase Doe    
When listening to LL Cool J's new album, "Todd Smith" two sayings come to mind, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks," and "If it ain't broke, why fix it."

There is no denying LL Cool J's place in hip-hop. After 12 albums, countless hits, and motion pictures under his belt, Cool James is still relevant while all of his peers have either fell off or disappeared. Like all of his albums LL Cool J gives the listener a street record, club record, slow jam, and an inspirational record. Unfortunately "Todd Smith" doesn't compare to past LL classics and is a disaster with too many featured artists.

Every song on "Todd Smith" features another artist alongside LL. Whether its Juelz Santana, who stomps a hole through LL's swagger on the track "Its LL and Santana" or Freeway, who rhymes circles around Uncle L on "What You Want," make it evident that The G.O.A.T. can't keep up with raps young guns like he used to. Lines like "Neck shining, my diamonds purplized grape jelly," doesn't help LL's cause either, its one thing to be an old school artist, but sounding like an old school artist is another thing.

"Todd Smith" isn't all fast forward material. The Neptune produced, "Best Dress" featuring Jamie Fox and "Favorite Flavor" featuring Mary J. Blige are both decent songs, and the best song on the album, the current single "Control Myself" featuring J.Lo is both club-friendly and pays homage to the old school with LL's best Afrika Bambatta rendition at the end.

How the artist who made the classic album "Momma Said Knock You Out" makes the corniest song and hook ever with "Preserve the Sexy," featuring Tierra Marie (early contender for worst song of the year) is a mystery. Whether he's getting his Kirk Franklin on with Mary Mary on the noisy "Were Gonna Make It," or making corny concept records with 112 "Down the Aisle," "Todd Smith" only proves that LL's best days are behind him.









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