LL Cool J, rapper
birth name: James Todd Smith

LL Cool J

January 14, 1968, Bay Shore, NY

Ever since he had his first hit single at age 16, L.L. Cool J has been one of rap's brightest artists, propelled by both his willingness to stay street and his desire to be a pop icon. L.L.'s parents divorced when he was four, and he was raised by his grandparents in Queens. He began rapping when he was nine; his grandfather bought him a DJ system when he was 11. He made tapes in his basement, which he sent to record companies, including Def Jam, then being formed by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. In 1984 I Need A Beat became Def Jam's first release; it sold 100,000 copies, and L.L. dropped out of high school. ~ Rolling Stone: LL Cool J ~ retrieved January 9, 2014 © Rolling Stone

LL initially was a hard-hitting, streetwise b-boy with spare beats and ballistic rhymes. He quickly developed an alternate style, a romantic - and occasionally sappy - lover's rap epitomized by his mainstream breakthrough single, I Need Love. ~ Allmusic: LL Cool J ~ retrieved June 17, 2013 © Allmusic

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Honoring musicians. Celebrating birthdays. Remembering death days.

January 14, 2012 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (3) Katy Perry, The One That Got Away ~ #2 (2) Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, We Found Love ~ #1 (1) LMFAO, Sexy And I Know It


LL Cool J ~ Ranked #5 VH-1 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Artists in 2003.

LL Cool J ~ Mama Said Knock You Out (1990) ~ Named one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die in 2008.

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Craig Mack ~ Flava In Ya Ear (Remix) ~ Ranked #27 Rolling Stone 50 Greatest Hip Hop Songs Of All Time in 2012 ~ Craig Mack has faded into obscurity - reportedly renouncing rap to join a fundamentalist Christian cult in South Carolina - but he left his mark on rap history with his debut single and its remix, one of hip-hop's greatest posse cuts. ~ 2012 © Rolling Stone

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