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James Todd Smith aka LL Cool J stepped onto the music scene in the mid 80s with his hit single, “I Need A Beat,” this single and Def Jam put them both on the trajectory to stardom.

The New York rapper over the course of his almost 3 decade career has proved that he’s a triple threat in the arena of music, film and television. Smith started his career producing his own beats and sending his demos to countless record labels before finally finding a home with then promoter-manager Russell Simmons, iconic record producer Rick Rubin and Def Jam.

His first album, Radio, went on to sell 1.5 million copies and gave us hit singles like, ” I Can’t Live Without My Radio” and “Rock The Bells.” LL Cool J became one of the first Hip Hop acts to go mainstream along side Kurtis Blow and label mates, Run D.M.C..

After the success of his debut album, LL Cool J went on make 13 albums under the Def Jam label as well as win two Grammys, two MTV VMAs and 4 NAACP Image Awards in his career.

In 2017, LL Cool J became the first rapper to be honored at the Kennedy Center Honors.

What is your favorite song from LL Cool J?

10. Goin Back To Cali

9. Loungin (feat. Total)

8. Hey Lover (feat. Boyz II Men)

7. Doin’ It

6. Around The Way Girl

5. Luv U Better

4. I’m Bad

3. I Need Love

2. I Can’t Live Without My Radio

1. Mama Said Knock You Out


Black Music Month Countdown: No. 7 – LL Cool J  was originally published on