LL Cool J’s net worth is currently estimated at around $120 million. He is popularly known as an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor. He is one of the earliest rappers to achieve commercial success, alongside fellow new school hip-hop acts Beastie Boys and Run-DMC. Some of his albums which gave him much success include Bigger and Deffer (1987), Walking with a Panther (1989), Mama Said Knock You Out (1990), Mr. Smith (1995), and Phenomenon (1997).
LL Cool J Biography
Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, New York. Growing up in Queens as a middle-class, Catholic kid, LL Cool J faced a traumatic incident at the age of four that would leave an indelible mark on his life. His father, James Nunya, shot his mother and grandfather, almost taking their lives. It was a harrowing experience for young Smith, who discovered them covered in blood. In 1972, Smith and his mother moved to St. Albans, Queens, seeking refuge in his grandparents’ home.
Unfortunately, his struggles continued as he faced physical and mental abuse from his mother’s ex-boyfriend, Roscoe. Despite the challenges, LL Cool J found solace and an outlet for his emotions through music. At the age of 10, he began rapping, inspired by the influential hip-hop group The Treacherous Three.
LL Cool J Career
In 1984, at the age of 16, LL Cool J started creating demo tapes in his grandparents’ home, equipped with $2,000 worth of musical equipment courtesy of his jazz saxophonist grandfather. It was during this time that he reconciled with his father, who provided guidance at the beginning of LL’s musical journey.
His determination and talent caught the attention of Def Jam Recordings, co-founded by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons. LL Cool J’s debut album, “Radio,” released in 1985, was a groundbreaking success. Featuring hit singles like “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” and “Rock the Bells,” the album quickly achieved platinum status, selling over 1.5 million copies in the United States.
Following the triumph of “Radio,” LL Cool J continued to make his mark in the hip-hop scene with the release of “Bigger and Deffer” in 1987. This album, produced by DJ Pooh and the L.A. Posse, became one of LL’s best-selling records, spending 11 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B albums chart.
As LL Cool J’s career soared, he faced criticism with the release of “Walking with a Panther” in 1989. Despite commercial success with chart-topping singles like “Going Back to Cali,” the album received backlash for its commercial and materialistic focus, causing a decline in his audience base.
LL Cool J’s career, however, expanded beyond music. He delved into acting, making his debut in the movie “Krush Groove” and subsequently taking on roles in films like “Toys,” “Halloween H20,” and “Any Given Sunday.” He also ventured into television, starring in the sitcom “In the House” from 1995 to 1999.
In recent years, LL Cool J has continued to make headlines. In 2016, he announced his retirement on social media, only to retract the statement and hint at a new album. Nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, LL Cool J reaffirmed his connection with Def Jam for future album releases in 2019.
LL Cool J Net Worth: How Much Is He Worth?
Cool J’s net worth is currently estimated at around $120 million. He is popularly known as an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and actor.