James Todd Smith, aka LL Cool J, made his claim to fame in hip-hop with his slick rhymes and smooth tunes for the ladies. Whether it was in the clubs or in the streets, LL’s music has touched the lives of his fans. But music hasn’t been his only outlet of creativity. While he was building up his music career with hits like “Mama Said Knock You Out” and “I Need Love,” he also wanted a slice of the Hollywood pie and ended up making a name for himself in the film world.
In 1986, Mr. Smith made a brief appearance as himself in the film Wildcats starring Goldie Hawn. However, Smith’s ambition pushed him to go beyond just a simple cameo role. A few years later, he would have his first serious role as Detective Billy in the 1991 film The Hard Way. Soon after, LL Cool J’s acting career would flourish just like his music career.
While he still dropped solo albums, his music was also appearing on soundtracks for films like Space Jam and Deep Blue Sea. But the silver screen and the abundance of concert stages he performed on wasn’t enough for the Queens rapper. He also managed to dominate television as an professional host of award shows and TV specials, but nothing beats starring in a hit crime drama series like “NCIS.”
In honor of LL Cool J’s 47h birthday today, we’ve decided to highlight his best work from his early films to his work on television. Even though he’s focusing on his upcoming album G.O.A.T 2, we still think that his contributions to film will never leave our memory. His resumé is extensive to say the least, but we’ve managed to pick 10 great films that depict an abundance of characters LL was able to bring to life.