from the album Mama Said Knock You Out (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #48
This week's "robbed hit" comes from rapper LL Cool J, who closed out the 1980's with his Walking With A Panther album, which spun off two top-40 pop hits with "Going Back To Cali" and "I'm The Type Of Guy". The following year, James Smith put out his fourth studio album, Mama Said Knock You Out, with the underground-styled rap track "The Boomin' System" as the lead single. Fashioned for the clubs and rap radio instead of the mainstream, the record sampled James Brown's "Funky Drummer" percussion and "Payback" instrumentation as its base. The video had him going through an arcade alternative universe, and for the tribute to the big radio setups on cars that gave guys respect...
While "The Boomin' System" topped Billboard's Top Rap Singles chart, and climbed to #6 on their R&B Singles list, the record stalled right under the pop Top 40 in October of 1990. The 12" single got to #13 on their Dance Club Play list as well. Across the pond, it was a minor hit in the UK at #83.