4, 3, 2, 1 (LL Cool J song)

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"4, 3, 2, 1"
4, 3, 2, 1 (LL Cool J single - cover art).jpg
Single by LL Cool J featuring Method Man, Redman, Canibus,and DMX
from the album Phenomenon
B-side"4, 3, 2, 1"
ReleasedDecember 9, 1997 (1997-12-09)
GenreEast coast hip hop
LL Cool J singles chronology
"4, 3, 2, 1"
Method Man singles chronology
"The Riddler"
"4, 3, 2, 1"
"Judgement Day"
Redman singles chronology
"Pick It Up"
"4, 3, 2, 1"
"Full Cooperation"
Canibus singles chronology
"4, 3, 2, 1"
"Second Round K.O."
DMX singles chronology
"Born Loser"
"4, 3, 2, 1"
"Get at Me Dog"

"4, 3, 2, 1" is a song by LL Cool J featuring Method Man & Redman, Canibus and DMX from LL Cool J's seventh album Phenomenon as the second single. It was released on December 9, 1997, for Def Jam Recordings and was produced by LL Cool J and Erick Sermon. A remix was made with an additional verse from American southern hip hop artist, Master P. Both the original song (minus Canibus) and the remix (with Canibus and Master P) had accompanying music videos; the song peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 10 on the Hot Rap Singles and number 24 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

LL Cool J vs. Canibus[edit]

The song is notable for starting the LL Cool J vs. Canibus feud, LL took offense to the lines, "L, is that a mic on your arm? Let me borrow that", which referenced his tattoo of a microphone on his arm – and which Canibus claimed was his own way of showing the rap veteran respect – and wrote an indirect diss to Canibus:

"The symbol on my arm is off limits to challengers / You hold the rusty sword, I swing the Excalibur"

And also:

"Now let's get back to this mic on my arm / If it ever left my side, it'd transform into a time bomb / You don't wanna borrow that, you wanna idolize / And you don't wanna make me mad, n***a, you wanna socialize."

Before the song was released, LL Cool J asked Canibus to change his lines. Canibus claims that LL vowed to modify his own lines as well, but the latter denied this and pointed out that nobody would know who he was talking about if only Canibus's line was changed; the original version eventually leaked, and fans started to piece the lines together. Canibus would respond to the diss with Second Round K.O., LL would then respond to that diss with the "Ripper Strikes Back". On his 2000 G.O.A.T. album, LL thanked Canibus for inspiration. In addition, despite appearing on the song, Canibus was omitted from the original music video for the song due to the feud, but was later included in the music video for the remix version.


This song features a vocal sample from LL Cool J's Rock the Bells off of the album "Radio". Another prominent sample featured in 4, 3, 2, 1 is from the Beastie Boys song "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)". And Superrappin’ by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious 5.

Track listing[edit]


  1. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Radio Edit)
  2. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Regular Version)
  3. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Instrumental)


  1. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Radio Edit)
  2. "4, 3, 2, 1" (Regular Version)
  3. "4, 3, 2, 1" (A Cappella)


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
Billboard Hot 100 75
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 24
Billboard Hot Rap Singles 10
Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales 5

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Position
Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks[1] 96


  1. ^ "Billboard Year-End Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks - 1998". Retrieved 2011-09-11.

External links[edit]