A living legend and icon, LL Cool J, maybe more known these days for his acting and portrayal as NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna on the hit CBS action drama, NCIS: Los Angeles or even being the host of the reality competition TV series, Lip Sync Battle. But it’s LL’s contributions to music that earned him nearly two and a half years ago, a star on the very famed, Hollywood Walk of Fame.
First breaking onto the music scene in 1984 with his hit single, I Need a Beat and hard-hitting very critically-acclaimed debut groundbreaking album, Radio. Both of which put the historic Def Jam Recordings and LL, as the labels flagship artist on the map as certified household names.
The breakthrough success of his singles, I Can’t Live Without My Radio and Rock the Bells, really helping propel, Radio, to Platinum-Plus status. A status that was really uncommon for Hip-Hop artists to sell at that time and really helped him become one of the first real Hip-Hop acts to also achieve that type of mainstream success. Kurtis Blow and Run D.M.C. being the others to do so.
LL would go onto even more success with his next three albums, Bigger and Deffer, Walking with a Panther and Mama Said Knock You Out. The first his biggest-selling album of his career, which is still his highest-selling to date at three million copies in the U.S. alone. The latter two giving us some of LL’s most successful and still popular hits till this day with, the Grammy Award-winning, Mama Said Knock You Out, as well as Going Back to Cali, Jingling Baby and I’m Bad.
Releasing thirteen albums throughout his storied career and really the pioneer Hip-Hop artist to make radio-friendly mainstream romantic ballad type records such as, I Need Love, Doin’ It, All I Have and Hey Lover, among his several female friendly centered records. LL really paved the way for fellow Queens natives, 50 Cent and Ja Rule, as well as Brooklyn-bred emcee, Fabolous to be able to make those types of records and be very commercially successful in the mainstream.
Sure he may not be anywhere near as popular music-wise as he once was towards the beginning of his music career when he really broke through in the 80’s or even when he was still very popular in the 90’s, but LL, will not only be one of the more anticipated performances from just me, but so many others as well. Even despite him not being in one of the more primetime slots of more headline performers for all of Lolla too.
Playing his set along with DJ Z-Trip, who he has been touring off and on with since 2011, I’m really interested to see how the two superstars work and pair together on stage. It’s without a doubt one of my more anticipated performances of all four days of Lollapalooza this year and especially with seeing LL Cool J live being something I’ve had on my bucket list of performers I want to see for quite some time. I can hardly wait.