LL Cool J
LL Cool J was born in Queens, New York, United States on January 14th, 1968 and is the Rapper. At the age of 55, LL Cool J biography, profession, age, height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, measurements, education, career, dating/affair, family, news updates, songs, movies, TV shows, and networth are available.
At 55 years old, LL Cool J has this physical status:
In the VH1 documentary Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation, Smith revealed that he initially called himself J-Ski, but did not want to associate his stage name with the cocaine culture (The rappers who use "Ski" or "Blow" as part of their stage name, e.g., Kurtis Blow and Joeski Love, were associated with the rise of the cocaine culture, as depicted in the 1983 remake of Scarface.) Under his new stage name LL Cool J (an abbreviation for Ladies Love Cool James), coined by his friend and fellow rapper Mikey D, Smith was signed by Def Jam, which led to the release of his first official record, the 12-inch single "I Need a Beat" (1984). The single was a hard-hitting, streetwise b-boy song with spare beats and ballistic rhymes. Smith later discussed his search for a label, stating "I sent my demo to many different companies, but it was Def Jam where I found my home." That same year, Smith made his professional debut concert performance at Manhattan Center High School. In a later interview, LL Cool J recalled the experience, stating "They pushed the lunch room tables together and me and my DJ, Cut Creator, started playing. ... As soon as it was over there were girls screaming and asking for autographs. Right then and there I said 'This is what I want to do'." LL's debut single sold over 100,000 copies and helped establish both Def Jam as a label and Smith as a rapper. The commercial success of "I Need a Beat", along with the Beastie Boys' single "Rock Hard" (1984), helped lead Def Jam to a distribution deal with Columbia Records the following year.
Radio was released to critical acclaim, both for production innovation and LL's powerful rap. Released November 18, 1985, on Def Jam Recordings in the United States, Radio earned a significant amount of commercial success and sales for a hip hop record at the time. Shortly after its release, the album sold over 500,000 copies in its first five months, eventually selling over 1 million copies by 1988, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Radio peaked at number 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and at number 46 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. It entered the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart on December 28, 1985, and remained there for 47 weeks, while also entering the Pop Albums chart on January 11, 1986, remaining on that chart for thirty-eight weeks. By 1989, the album had earned platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with sales exceeding one million copies; it had previously earned a gold certification in the United States on April 14, 1986. "I Can't Live Without My Radio" and "Rock the Bells" were singles that helped the album go platinum. It eventually reached 1,500,000 copies sold in the US.
With the breakthrough success of his hit single "I Need a Beat" and the Radio LP, LL Cool J became one of the early hip-hop acts to achieve mainstream success along with Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. Gigs at larger venues were offered to LL as he would join the 1986-'87 Raising Hell tour, opening for Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys. Another milestone of LL's popularity was his appearance on American Bandstand as the first hip hop act on the show, as well as an appearance on Diana Ross' 1987 television special, Red Hot Rhythm & Blues.
The album's success also helped in contributing to Rick Rubin's credibility and repertoire as a record producer. Radio, along with Raising Hell (1986) and Licensed to Ill (1986), would form a trilogy of New York City-based, Rubin-helmed albums that helped to diversify hip-hop. Rubin's production credit on the back cover reads "REDUCED BY RICK RUBIN", referring to his minimalist production style, which gave the album its stripped-down and gritty sound. This style would serve as one of Rubin's production trademarks and would have a great impact on future hip-hop productions. Rubin's early hip hop production work, before his exit from Def Jam to Los Angeles, helped solidify his legacy as a hip hop pioneer and establish his reputation in the music industry.
LL Cool J's second album was 1987's Bigger and Deffer, which was produced by DJ Pooh and the L.A. Posse. This stands as one of his biggest-selling career albums, having sold in excess of two million copies in the United States alone. It spent 11 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's R&B albums chart. It also reached No. 3 on the Billboard's Pop albums chart. The album featured the singles "I'm Bad", the revolutionary "I Need Love" - LL's first #1 R&B and Top 40 hit, “Kanday”, "Bristol Hotel", and "Go Cut Creator Go". While Bigger and Deffer, which was a big success, was produced by the L.A. Posse (at the time consisting of Dwayne Simon, Darryl Pierce and, according to himself the most important for crafting the sound of the LP, Bobby "Bobcat" Ervin), Dwayne Simon was the only one left willing to work on producing LL Cool J's third album Walking with a Panther. Released in 1989, the album was a commercial success, with several charting singles ("Going Back to Cali", which had originally been released on the 1987 movie soundtrack Less than Zero, "I'm That Type of Guy", "Big Ole Butt", and "One Shot at Love"). Despite commercial appeal, the album was often criticized by the hip-hop community as being too commercial and materialistic, and for focusing too much on love ballads. As a result, his audience base began to decline due to the album's bold commercial and pop aspirations. According to Billboard, the album peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and was LL Cool J's second #1 R&B Album where it spent five weeks.
In 1990, LL released Mama Said Knock You Out, his fourth studio album. The Marley Marl produced album received critical acclaim and eventually went double Platinum, selling over two million copies according to the RIAA. Mama Said Knock You Out marked a turning point in LL Cool J's career, as he proved to critics his ability to stay relevant and hard-edged despite the misgivings of his previous album. LL won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992 for the title track. The album's immense success propelled Mama Said Knock You Out to be LL's top selling album of his career (as of 2002) and solidified his status as a hip-hop icon. LL also recorded a rap solo for Michael Jackson's demo of "Serious Effect" that remains unreleased but leaked online
After acting in The Hard Way and Toys, LL Cool J released 14 Shots to the Dome. The album had four singles ("How I'm Comin'", "Back Seat (of My Jeep)", "Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings", "Stand By Your Man") and guest-featured labelmates Lords of the Underground on "NFA-No Frontin' Allowed". The album went gold.
LL Cool J starred in In the House, an NBC sitcom, before releasing Mr. Smith (1995), which went on to sell over two million copies. Its singles included "Doin' It" and "Loungin". Another of the album's singles, "Hey Lover", featured Boyz II Men, and sampled Michael Jackson's "The Lady in My Life"; it eventually became an early hip-hop music video to air on VH1. The song also earned him a Grammy Award. Yet another single from the album, "I Shot Ya Remix", included debut vocal work by Foxy Brown. In 1996, Def Jam released this "greatest hits" package, offering a good summary of Cool J's career, from the relentless minimalism of early hits such as "Rock the Bells" to the smooth-talking braggadocio that followed. Classic albums including Bigger and Deffer and Mama Said Knock You Out are well represented here. In December 1996 his loose cover of the Rufus and Chaka Khan song "Ain't Nobody" was included on the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America soundtrack & released as a single. LL Cool J's interpretation of "Ain't Nobody" was particularly successful in the United Kingdom, where it topped the UK Singles Chart in early-1997. In that same year, he released the album Phenomenon. The singles included "Phenomenon" and "Father". The official second single from Phenomenon was "4, 3, 2, 1", which featured Method Man, Redman & Master P and introduced DMX and Canibus.
In 2000, LL Cool J released the album G.O.A.T., which stood for the "Greatest of All Time." It debuted at number one on the Billboard album charts, and went platinum. LL Cool J thanked Canibus in the liner notes of the album, "for the inspiration". LL Cool J's next album 10 from 2002, was his ninth studio (10th overall including his greatest hits compilation All World), and included the singles "Paradise" (featuring Amerie), and the number 1 R&B hit "Luv U Better", produced by the Neptunes. Later pressings of the album added the 2003 Jennifer Lopez duet, "All I Have". The album reached platinum status. LL Cool J's tenth album The DEFinition was released on August 31, 2004. The album debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard charts. Production came from Timbaland, 7 Aurelius, R. Kelly, and others. The lead single was the Timbaland-produced "Headsprung", which peaked at No. 7 on the Hip-Hop and R&B singles chart, and No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single was the 7 Aurelius–produced, "Hush", which peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hip-Hop and R&B chart and No. 26 on the Hot 100.
LL Cool J's 11th album, Todd Smith, was released on April 11, 2006. It includes collaborations with 112, Ginuwine, Juelz Santana, Teairra Mari and Freeway. The first single was the Jermaine Dupri-produced "Control Myself" featuring Jennifer Lopez. They shot the video for "Control Myself" on January 2, 2006, at Sony Studios, New York. The second video, directed by Hype Williams, was "Freeze" featuring Lyfe Jennings.
In July 2006, LL Cool J announced details about his final album with Def Jam Recordings, the only label he has ever been signed to. The album is titled Exit 13. The album was originally scheduled to be executively produced by fellow Queens rapper 50 Cent. Exit 13 was originally slated for a fall 2006 release, however, after a 2-year delay, it was released September 9, 2008 without 50 Cent as the executive producer. Tracks that the two worked on were leaked to the internet and some of the tracks produced with 50 made it to Exit 13. LL Cool J partnered with DJ Kay Slay to release a mixtape called "The Return of the G.O.A.T.". It was the first mixtape of his 24-year career and includes freestyling by LL Cool J in addition to other rappers giving their renditions of his songs. A track entitled "Hi Haterz" was leaked onto the internet on June 1, 2008. The song contains LL Cool J rapping over the instrumental to Maino's "Hi Hater". He toured with Janet Jackson on her Rock Witchu tour, only playing in Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, and Kansas City.
In September 2009, LL Cool J released a song about the NCIS TV series. It is a single and is available on iTunes. The new track is based on his experiences playing special agent Sam Hanna. "This song is the musical interpretation of what I felt after meeting with NCIS agents, experienced Marines and Navy SEALs," LL Cool J said. "It represents the collective energy in the room. I was so inspired I wrote the song on set."
In March 2011 at South by Southwest, LL Cool J was revealed to be Z-Trip's special guest at the Red Bull Thre3Style showcase. This marked the beginning of a creative collaboration between the rap and DJ superstars. The two took part in an interview with Carson Daly where they discussed their partnership. Both artists have promised future collaborations down the road, with LL Cool J calling the duo "organic" One early track to feature LL's talents was Z-Trip's remix of British rock act Kasabian's single "Days Are Forgotten", which was named by influential DJ Zane Lowe as his "Hottest Record In The World" and received a favorable reception in both Belgium and the United Kingdom. In January 2012, the pair released the track "Super Baller" as a free download to celebrate the New York Giants Super Bowl victory. The two have been touring together since 2011, with future dates planned through 2012 and beyond.
On October 6, 2012, LL Cool J released a new single from Authentic Hip-Hop called "Ratchet". Following that, on November 3, 2012, LL collaborated with Joe and producers Trackmasters with his second single, "Take It".
On February 8, 2013, it was announced that the title of LL's upcoming album would be changed from Authentic Hip-Hop to Authentic with a new release date of April 30, 2013. A new cover was unveiled at the same time. At around the same time, it was announced that LL Cool J had collaborated with Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen on two tracks on the album.
On October 16, 2013, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced LL Cool J as a nominee for inclusion in 2014.
In October 2014, LL announced that his 14th studio album would be called G.O.A.T. 2 and would be released in 2015. LL stated that "the concept behind the album was to give upcoming artists an opportunity to shine, and put myself in the position where I have to spit bars with some of the hardest rhymers in the game"; however, the album was put on hold. LL Cool J explained the reason for it, saying, "It was good but I didn't feel like it was ready yet."
On January 21, 2016, LL received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In March 2016, LL announced his retirement on social media, but quickly walked back his announcement and indicated that a new album was on the way. LL hosted the Grammy Awards Show for five consecutive years, from the 54th Grammy Awards on February 12, 2012, through the 58th Grammy Awards on February 15, 2016.
In October 2018, LL Cool J was nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In September 2019, it was announced that LL had re-signed to Def Jam for future album releases. His upcoming album will be produced by Q-Tip.
On December 29, 2021, LL Cool J canceled his performance at Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2022 after testing positive for COVID-19.
LL hosted the 2022 iHeartRadio Music Awards on March 22, 2022.
While LL Cool J first appeared as a rapper in the movie Krush Groove (performing "I Can't Live Without My Radio"), his first acting part was a small role in a high school football movie called Wildcats. He landed the role of Captain Patrick Zevo in Barry Levinson's 1992 film Toys. From 1995 to 1999, he starred in his own television sitcom In the House. He portrayed an ex-Oakland Raiders running back who finds himself in financial difficulties and is forced to rent part of his home out to a single mother and her two children, one of whom moves out with her before the third season.
In 1998, LL Cool J played security guard Ronny in Halloween H20, the seventh movie in the Halloween franchise. In 1999, co-starred as Preacher, the chef in the Renny Harlin horror/comedy Deep Blue Sea. He received positive reviews for his role as Dwayne Gittens, an underworld boss nicknamed "God", in In Too Deep. Later that year, he starred as Julian Washington—a talented but selfish running back on fictional professional football team the Miami Sharks—in Oliver Stone's drama Any Given Sunday. He and co-star Jamie Foxx allegedly got into a real fistfight while filming a fight scene. During the next two years, LL Cool J appeared in Rollerball, Deliver Us from Eva, S.W.A.T., and Mindhunters.
In 2005, he returned to television in a guest-starring role on the Fox medical drama House; he portrayed a death row inmate felled by an unknown disease in an episode entitled "Acceptance". He appeared as Queen Latifah's love interest in the 2006 movie Last Holiday. He also guest-starred on 30 Rock in the 2007 episode "The Source Awards", portraying a hip-hop producer called Ridikulous who Tracy Jordan fears may kill him. LL Cool J appeared in Sesame Street's 39th season, introducing the word of the day--"Unanimous"—in episode 4169 (September 22, 2008) and performing "The Addition Expedition" in episode 4172 (September 30, 2008).
Since 2009, LL Cool J has starred on the CBS police procedural NCIS: Los Angeles. The show is a spin-off of NCIS, which itself is a spin-off of the naval legal drama JAG. LL Cool J portrays NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex–Navy SEAL who is fluent in Arabic and is an expert on West Asian culture. The series debuted in autumn of 2009, but the characters were introduced in an April 2009 crossover episode on the parent show. In 2013, LL received a Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Action for his work on the show.
In 2013, LL co-starred as a gym owner in the sports dramedy Grudge Match. Since April 2015, LL has hosted the show Lip Sync Battle. He played Beth's father in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and was shown in a trailer for the film but his scenes were cut from the final product.
Aug 6th 2022. rockthebells festival. Because this culture and these artists deserve to be elevated to the highest heights. Because this culture and art form changed the lives of people born in impoverished communities around the world. Because HIP-Hop culture is not disposable. Thats why we do, what we do. That’s why we are The Champions of Hip-Hop.
Hip-hop unite! Hip-Hop is taking over Queens, NY on Aug 6th. #Timeless rockthebells has assembled some of the dopest MC's of all time for #RTBFestival starring myself feat ztrip icecube lilkimthequeenbee bustarhymes richforever mr_camron thejuelzsantana jimjonescapo jadakiss fatjoe remyma therealnoreaga trinarockstarr BrotherMob planetsdigable onyx_hq mobbdeephavoc xplargepro djscratch djmistercee imroxanneshante More info and tix at rockthebells.com/festival Illustrated by sanfordgreene