Thursday, July 7, 2011

L.L. Cool J - "Going Back to Cali"

Going Back to Cali - Walking with a Panther

(Debuted  February 20, 1988, Peaked #31, 14 Weeks on the Chart)

After several years of being relegated to "underground" status, rap was making inroads into the Top 40 by 1988. However, "Going Back to Cali" doesn't seem to start off as a rap song per se, not with its brassy opening that seems to have been influenced by Bitches Brew-era Miles Davis. Then the lyrics start tossing out brand names and describing the details of a tricked-out Cadillac while looking for the ladies, and yes, it fits the format. That said, it's a good example of what rap was at the time, with a great saxophone solo at the end.

"Going Back to Cali" first appeared on the soundtrack of Less Than Zero, where it was during its run up the charts. It also showed up on LL Cool J's 1989 LP Walking With a Panther.

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