So the myth which some folks are still perpetuating is that DJ Marley Marl was nearly entirely responsible for crafting LL Cool J’s incredible, some say comeback track and really a career cornerstone Mama Said Knock You Out. Several years back legendary Los Angelean Radio DJ and Superproducer Bobby DJ Bobcat Ervin told me personally how he conceptualized the track, sourced the samples to make the beat, and played Uncle L a rough snippet over the phone.
The “C’mon man” at the beginning of the track is actually directed at Bobcat, who was not only talking shit about LL’s delivery, but kept rewinding the tape for Cool J to do restart after restart. I think you can hear frustration turn into anger in that track. Bobcat certainly got what he wanted.
I’m still not entirely sure who did what- both Bobcat and Marley definitely had their hands in the project, and I’m certainly not looking to detract from the amazing career that Marley has had for decades- just to maybe shed a little light and bring some more truth to my all-time favorite LL Cool J track. I think it’s definitively a top ten Golden Era banger to be sure. The excellent DubSpot video I’ve linked to has been making the usual rounds on hip hop blogs far & wide, but with little to no mention Ervin’s fingerprints on the joint- or really just the incomplete story. Salute Marley Marl & DJ Bobcat, because together they’re responsible for a bank vault of Golden Era Classics. – Skylar Woodman