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Genre: Hip Hop & Rap, Old School Hip Hop
Price: Under $100,000
Availability: Generally Availability
LL Cool J Song List
Legendary American rapper and actor LL Cool J was born James Todd Smith in 1968 in Bay Shore, New York. Today, LL Cool J is recognized as one of the early pioneers of the pop rap genre, but long before he rose to fame in the 1980’s, he started rapping while in elementary school, largely inspired by local hip-hop groups. As luck would have it, LL Cool J was prepping his own demo tapes around the same time that Russell Simmons was founding his Def Jam label; the promoter was impressed enough by LL Cool J’s talent that he signed him to the label.
In 1984, LL Cool J had released his debut single, “I Need a Beat,” garnering the attention of Columbia Records for a distribution deal. With a major label behind him, LL Cool J entered the studio to prepare for his debut album. The result, Radio, was met with critical acclaim and commercial success upon its release in 1985. The album had peaked at the number six spot on the hip-hop charts and rose to the number forty-six spot on the mainstream charts. By 1988, Radio had reached platinum status, highly unusual for a hip-hop record at the time.
But it was LL Cool J’s second album, Bigger and Deffer, which became his big breakthrough, rising to the number three spot on the pop charts and the number one spot on the R&B charts. The album spawned the hits singles: “Go Cut Creator Go,” “Bristol Hotel,” “I Need Love,” and “I’m Bad.” Since that time, LL Cool J had released more than a dozen additional albums, including: Walking with a Panther (1989), Mama Said Knock You Out (1990), Mr. Smith (1995), Phenomenon (1997), 10 (2002), Todd Smith (2006), Exit 13 (2008), and Authentic (2013.) Notable singles include: “I’m That Type of Guy,” “Jingling Baby,” “The Boomin’ System,” “Around the Way Girl,” “How I’m Comin,” “Doin’ It,” “Ain’t Nobody,” “Luv U Beter,” “Headsprung,” and “Mama Said Knock You Out,” which earned LL Cool J his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.
In the early 1990’s, LL Cool J also started a film career, appearing on the big screen for the first time in the 1991 film The Hard Way, in the role of Detective Billy. Since then, he’s appeared in film and on television in various roles, including: Roger in Caught Up (1998); Jiggy Walker in Oz (1998); Julian Washington in Any Given Sunday (1999); Marcus Ridley in Rollerball (2002); and Sean Williams in Last Holiday (2006); Since 2009, LL Cool J also appears on NCIS: Los Angeles, in the recurring role of Special Agent Sam Hanna.
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