LL Cool J

Rapper, Actor Grammy Award ® winning Queens native LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) came from humble beginnings and was the first artist signed to the infamous record label Def Jam and is one of the most successful hip-hip artists of all time.  LL also known as Ladies Love Cool James, released the first hip-hop love song “I Need Love” in 1985.  Rarely seen without his trademark cap, LL made a seamless transition from hip-hop artist to actor and can be seen weekly on CBS’ NCIS Los Angeles and has appeared in blockbuster movies including Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T., Charlie’s Angels, and Last Holiday.  In 2013, weeks before the release of a new album, the veteran rapper was at the center of controversy for his lyrics on "Accidental Racist," a collaboration with country singer Brad Paisley.

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Def Jam Hip Hop Albums You Should Own

Iconic LP's from the label Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin launched.

Fabolous Talks Def Jam 30th Anniversary Concert

Rapper explains why LL Cool J, Public Enemy aren't on the bill.

Rick Rubin Explains How Def Jam Style Inspired Fashion

Artists like Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys and Run DMC were inspired with their fashion choices.

25 Most Influential Def Jam Artists

A look at the music stars who made the label iconic.

Don't Label Me: Artists Beefin' With Their Record Labels

Tyga and more who disputed how they've been handled.

10 Reasons Why Rick Rubin Is So Legendary

The co-founder of Def Jam is still a go-to guy in music.
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