“4, 3, 2, 1” is the second single from LL Cool J’s seventh album, Phenomenon, featuring his Def Jam labelmates Method Man, Redman, and DMX, as well as Canibus and Master P on the remix. This song is most notable for starting the LL and Canibus beef because of the Canibus line, “L, is that a mic on your arm, lemme borrow that”, referencing LL’s tattoo. LL found this offensive and had Canibus change the line, which he agreed to do but LL still used his verse to diss Canibus. This prompted Canibus to record his response, “2nd Round K.O.,” featuring vocals from former LL associate Mike Tyson.

Two versions of the music video were released: the first version with LL, DMX, Red & Meth, and the second version with Canibus and Master P.

Producer Erick Sermon talked about the creation of the track:

That record was originally done by Trackmasters. But I didn’t like that beat. The beat was a club record. So I said to Kevin Liles, ‘Give me the record. Let me do something with it.’

Nobody was in the studio when I made that record. The rhymes were already down. But the order of the rhymes was wrong. I put Red and Meth together, then DMX afterwards.

I used the same beat as Busta Rhymes ‘Put Your Hand Where My Eyes Can See.’ All I did was change the bass line. The shaker, the high hat, the kick, the snare, is all ‘Put Your Hands.’ Everything was moving the same way. None of the Trackmasters beat is in mine. Their beat was a loop of an old ‘80s record.

Then, after I remixed it, and LL heard Canibus' verse, he did a different verse. He had another verse before that. That was part of the record, as far as them battling, but I just put it together how I thought it should sound. And it became a smash hit record.