L. L. COOL J was born as James Todd Smith, on January 14, 1968, in Long Island, New York City, to his parents James and Ondrea smith. As a child he was called Todd, and didn’t have a very happy childhood. When he was only four, he saw his mother and grandfather get shot by his own father. After recovering from their injuries, his mother began dating a young physical therapist she met when she was in the hospital. He treated ondrea kindly, but for years he abused Todd, which resulted in Todd becoming a bully himself. When he got older, Todd found a way to get out of the abuse and his bullying attitude, and it was hip hop.
He fell in love with it when he was nine, and when he turned 11 he was writing lyrics and making his own songs with some DJ equipment his grandfather gave him. At 15, him and his best friend came up with his present stage name L. L. Cool J, that means “Ladies Love Cool James. “He was a outgoing teen, that signed to def jam records in 1984. Rick Rubin really liked him and made a single with him called, “I need a beat” and sent it to manager Russell Simmons. Russell loved the single, and in the same year, Rick and Russell co founded the famous Def Jam Recordings.
The young artist left school to record his first album, radio, which was a great success mix of pop and oriented rap. Many music fans responded happily to the album’s singles, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” and “Rock the Bells,” and bought a lot of copies of the recordings. In 1985, he started his acting career, his first appearance was in Krush Groove. Then the following year, he appeared in a high school football comedy called Wildcats, and he also wrote the movie’s theme song. After that, LL Cool j took a break to focus more on his music. The 1987’s Bigger and Deffer, LL Cool J showed a softer side with the popular, “I Need Love. This song became a hit on both the rap and pop charts. The two years later he was back at it with another album, Walking with a panther. His fourth album was a killer, best selling yet, Mama said knock you out, it was a more street song pertaining to the streets. It got him his first Grammy for best rap solo performance.
His career grew, as he became more popular, and every one of his albums went platinum selling, and from there on he was known as one of the greatest hip-hop artist of all time. After not making that much success in 14 shots to the dome, but he made up for it with the sexy album, Mr. mith, and the over the top single Doing’ it, featured Leshaun. The other hit from the album was a romantic slow jam, Hey lover, got him a Grammy award. By 1995, he was happily married to a lady name, Simone Johnson with three children. By then, he officially started to concentrate more on his acting career. He took on more serious roles in many films, such as, B. A. P. S, with Halle Berry, Halloween H20 with Jamie Lee Curtis. In the movie Any Given Sunday, Cool J showed did well, taking on a supporting role with well known stars, Al Pacino, Dennis Quaid, Cameron Diaz, and Jamie Foxx.
LL Cool J wrote his a autobiography, I Make My Own Rules, which was published in 1997. Juggling his music and acting career, LL Cool J released G. O. A. T in 2000, which made number one on the Billboard chart. He then starred in the 2001 family drama, Kingdom Come, with Jada Pinkett Smith. Proving he was truly multi talented, LL Cool J also wrote a children book, And the Winner Is, but still, he never abandoned his music. In 2003, he released 10, which featured a song with Jennifer Lopez. He then released The Definition the following year.
In the 2003 romantic comedy Deliver Us From Eva, he played the spouse of Gabrielle union. Later, leading many other movies like, SWAT, Mind hunters, and Last holiday. He also wrote a fitness book in 2006 and released his last album, Exit 13, in 2008. He recently toke on a role in a regular television show called NCIS Los Angeles, playing a navy investigator. He formed a clothing line called FUBU in 1996 and signed a deal with Sears. He was ranked #5 in VH1’s 50 greatest hip-hop artist and ranked #32 in VH1’s top 100 sexiest artist.