LL Cool J‘s last single, Take It, earned positive feedback on our pages, but some reviewers couldn’t help but express a little nostalgia for the tougher, hungrier Cool James of yore. Evidently, he’s been missing those days as well—and his position as host of last night’s Grammy Awards presented the perfect opportunity for a little blast from the past. Performed at the climax of the broadcast as a tribute to the late Adam “MCA” Yauch, the rap vet’s latest effort finds him tapping into that old-school energy to craft a cut as rugged as its predecessor was smooth. DJ Z-Trip and The Trackmasters’ classic samples (from LL’s own Rock the Bells as well as Public Enemy’s Welcome to the Terrordome) set the tone for Whaddap, a rock-infused banger which features the headliner and PE frontman Chuck D. going “hard as hell” over guitar by Rage Against the Machine alum Tom Morello and furious percussion by Travis Barker. LL Cool J’s first full-length following his split from Def Jam, Authentic is scheduled to hit record stores and online retailers May 7, via S-BRO.