Date of Birth: January 14th 1968
Since his auspicious emergence in 1985, LL Cool J has catapulted from over night hip-hop sensation to bonafide cross-cultural phenomenon. A seasoned entertainer at the mature age of 33, his lengthy list of accomplishments boggle the mind: two-time Grammy Award winning rapper, star of a hit television series, feature film actor, trusted advertising pitchman, author, company chairman, humanitarian and devoted husband and father. Indeed, as LL swaggered confidently into this millennium some fans must wonder: What unexplored challenges remain for the undisputed king of hip-hop? It's a reasonable enough question, one to which LL replies, "plenty." Still restless and hungry after 16 years in the spotlight, the rapper wants to elevate his game to even loftier levels. "I haven't achieved everything I want, and I definitely want a lot more, " the hip-hop legend admits. "To be honest, I feel like I'm at the beginning again. There's a desire to improve what I've built thus far and make it better."
LL's insatiable ambition is admirable, especially considering his already mythic status in contemporary culture. With over 20 million albums sold worldwide he's one of the top 2 most successful hip-hop artist in history, yet his fame often threatens to overshadow his artistic achievements. His vision and commitment to excellence have resulted in a series of historic firsts. He was the first rap artist to release a single and album on the now legendary Def Jam Records Label. He was the first hip-hop artist to amass eight consecutive platinum-plus selling albums and seven gold singles. In 1991 he made history by becoming the first rap artist to go acoustic on "MTV Unplugged." Now with his music and acting careers firmly on track finds himself poised on the precipice of multimedia superstardom. His secound to last album entitled Phenomenon, is another masterful synthesis of accessible rhythm and sublime rhyme. Featuring contributions by rap and pop luminaries such as Sean "Puffy" Combs, Babyface, The Trackmasters, Kirk Franklin & The Family, Busta Rhymes, Redman and Method Man, LeShawn, The Lost Boyz, Tamia, Prestige, L.E.S., Derek Angeletti, Big Ron and Steve J., Phenomenon is LL's most introspective and forthright recording yet.