17. LL Cool J Releases "Ratchet"
Date: October 6
Growing old sucks. It's never quick but rather over years and years until at some point you look in the mirror and you trace the lines near your mouth with a shaking finger, you try to smooth your forehead; everything sags and instead of life coming from behind your eyes there's gray circles underneath. Ugh.
LL Cool J is 44 years old. He wants to be young so badly, but he is so middle-aged and so inoffensive. We all knew that years ago when he started taking jobs on CBS shows and doing that laugh ("A HUH HUH HUH") that seems as if designed to respond to Jay Leno jokes.
But then this song comes out, and it's LL Cool J rapping over a jerkin' beat and saying things like, "It's time I get rid of your ratchet ass." Right. LL, you're married and have been for 17 years. Why can't our idols age gracefully and/or normally? Why are we so beholden to youth? Growing old is not a fail; failing to grow old is.
(This also goes for Fat Joe, too, who released his "Instagram That Hoe" around the same time as "Ratchet.")