Just like Muhummad Ali they called him Cassius
Watch me bash this beat like a skull

from LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out Lyrics on Rap Genius


Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest” boxer of all-time, was born Cassius Marcellus Clay.
LL’s telling his listeners that he will knock this beat out the same way Ali hits his opponents' skulls.

This is also a reference to the beating Muhammad Ali put down on Floyd Patterson after Patterson refused to call Ali by his newly adopted Muslim name. He instead insisted on calling him ‘Cassius’, his original name, in interviews leading up to the fight.

Ali famously spent the match pounding on Patterson and yelling “What’s my name?”.

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