James Todd Smith
Jack the Ripper, LL Cool J, Uncle L, The Future of the Funk, Nickelhead, LL, Mr. Smith, G.O.A.T.
Bay Shore, New York, United States
LL Cool J went to the Hillcrest High School in New York City. However, he dropped out of school to focus on his rapping career.
Rapper, actor, author, and entrepreneur
- Father – James Louis Smith, Jr.
- Mother – Ondrea Griffith
- Others – James Louis Smith (Paternal Grandfather), Fannie Bell Tucker (Paternal Grandmother), Nathaniel Christy Lewis (Biological Maternal Grandfather), Ethel Mae Jolly (Biological Maternal Grandmother), Eugene Gladstone Griffith (Adoptive Maternal Grandfather), Ellen E. Hightower (Adoptive Maternal Grandmother)
LL Cool J is represented by M L Management Associates, Inc.
Hip hop, rap rock
429 Records, Def Jam Recordings, Violator, S-BRO
6 ft 1½ in or 187 cm
96 kg or 212 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
LL has dated –
- Karrine Steffans – The former model and author, Karrine Steffans has claimed in her autobiography that she had a brief affair with LL Cool J, who she also revealed had a pretty well-endowed manhood.
- Kidada Jones – Before he settled down with Simone, he dated actress and model Kidada Jones who is Quincy Jones’s daughter and Tupac Shakur’s fiancé for about a year.
- Simone Smith – Todd first met his wife Simone Smith when he was 19 years old. He was driving his mother’s car on Easter’s Eve and met his friend and his cute cousin around the block. Just after they had got in a relationship, he was supposed to go on eight weeks long music tour. So, he sat her down and told her that if she would be going out with someone else by the time he returns, then it would be better that they remain friends. They made their relationship public at the Miami concert as he called her onstage while performing I Need Love and kissed her in front of his fans. In 1989, she gave birth to a son, Najee. In 1990, she gave birth to a daughter, Italia. In 1995, they got married and welcomed their second daughter, Samaria. Their fourth child, a daughter named Nina Simone was born in 2000. They had to face a major obstacle after Simone was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2004. However, she managed to overcome her condition after a two and half years struggle.
Race / Ethnicity
Often likes to wear a hat or beanie.
His body specifications may be –
- Chest – 46 in or 117 cm
- Arms / Biceps – 16 in or 41 cm
- Waist – 34 in or 86 cm
14/15 (US) or 47/48 (EU)
LL Cool has done endorsement work for –
- Spike App
- Best Buy retail chain
- Dr. Pepper
- Old Spice
- Fubu (Online fashion store)
Best Known For
- Being considered as one of the creator artists of the pop rap.
- Being a very successful rap artist, having sold millions of records.
In November 1985, LL Cool released his debut studio album, Radio under the Def Jam Recordings label. The album went ‘Platinum’ in U.S.
In 1985, LL Cool made his film debut as himself in the music drama movie, Krush Groove as himself.
First TV Show
As an actor, LL Cool acted in a 1994 episode of the drama-comedy series, The Adventures of Pete & Pete as Mr. Throneberry.
However, his first TV show appearance was in the musical comedy series Saturday Night Live as a musical guest in 1987.
In 2002, while preparing for the music tour, LL realized that he would have to step up his fitness regime if he wanted to look great. Plus, he wasn’t happy about how he was feeling as well. So, he hired his personal trainer, Scooter, who would become his close friend as well.
Scooter had him running about five miles in the searing heat to burn his fat stores. He had him working in the gym just after he had performed on stage. His gym workouts started with warmups that included jogging on the treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike and jumping jacks. After that, he got him doing lifting exercises in circuit training style.
Depending on his energy, he got him doing boxing circuits as well and followed it up with interval training on treadmill or outside. In interval training, he sprinted for 30 seconds followed by 60 seconds of jogging. He also used to perform interval training routine in the morning as well.
He backed up his workout with a disciplined and balanced diet. He focused on eating a lot of protein based food but didn’t completely cut off fats and carbs. Like every fat burning diet, his diet also had a generous amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.
LL Cool J Favorite Things
- Soda – Ginger Ale
- Perfume – Gendarme Cologne
- Color Combination – Black and Red
- Works of Art – His portrait done by Kehinde Wiley at the Smithsonian and Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David
- Concerts – Run-DMC Raising Hell tour and U2 concert in Barcelona in 2009
- MLB Team – New York Yankees
- Sports Team – Los Angeles Lakers
- Childhood Athlete – Tony Dorsett, Michael Jordan, and Reggie Jackson
Source – USMagazine.com, ESPN.com
LL Cool J Facts
- His stage name LL Cool J is a shortened form of ‘Ladies Love Cool James.’ He adopted this stage name in his teens.
- Before he became a successful rapper, he worked as a paperboy very briefly.
- The VH1 has placed him on the 5th spot in the “50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists” list and also on #32 in the “100 Sexiest Artists” list.
- In January 2016, he was honored with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at the legendary Hollywood Boulevard in California.
- He had a very turbulent upbringing. At the age of 4, he saw his father shooting his mother and grandfather.
- In his autobiography, he has accused his physical therapist stepfather of psychologically and physically abusing him. However, his stepfather has refuted these allegations.
- He started rapping at the age of 9. Using $2,000 worth of music equipment, which was gifted by his grandfather, he started producing his own demo discs in his early teens.
- While he was studying in high school, the newly established Def Jam Recordings released his song, I Need a Beat, which sold more than 100,000 copies and gave him the confidence to drop his studies for a music career.
- In 2008, he started his record label by the name of Boomdizzle. It also worked as a social networking platform for amateur artists, who could upload their music and get it rated by other users.
- In 2009, he launched his exclusive range of urban clothing items titled “LL Cool J collection”. His clothing range was initially made available at Sears’ stores.
- In 2012, he broke a robber’s jaw and nose after having caught him intruding in his home. He then called the police to hand him over.
- He released his autobiography, I Make My Own Rules in 1998. He has also written a bestselling fitness book, The Platinum Workout.