Apart from serenading the airwaves with his songs since the 80s, James Todd Smith, better known in entertainment circles as LL Cool J, has also shown his genius as an actor.
Cool J, 48, currently stars on American television series NCIS Los Angeles as Sam Hanna and also hosts musical reality series Lip Sync Battle on Spike Cable Network. In an interview, the star who once melted many hearts with his ‘I Need Love’ track, said he hadn’t abandoned his music career for the screen.
The Grammy®Award host said there were many younger people who knew little about his music exploits and that the older folks who know a lot about it continue to look forward to something fresh from him.
For one who manages his own music career, it is surprising how successful the star has become. Asked how he felt being managed when he featured on NCIS Los Angeles, he disclosed “Teamwork makes it dreamwork. Sometimes the entrepreneurial side of me might say: ‘I wish I could do it this way.’ Or something in the back of my mind will go: ‘I’d like to do this differently.’ But I’m OK with it and it’s refreshing not to have so much responsibility. I can just hit my mark and tell the truth, then make music when I’m on my own time.”
The two-time Grammy®Award winner isn’t just given his all in music and on television; he has also started a scholarship at the Chicago State University for under-privileged students. Talking about the scholarship he revealed: “We have our first student who’s getting a full four year ride. He’s studying finance and accounting so it’s pretty cool. I’ve had some good university moments; I got an honorary doctorate from Northeastern University, which is amazing.” The star, who didn’t graduate from high school and never went to university, admits this experience was a bit nerve racking.
As an artist, Cool J may have caught the eyes of many ladies, but the star is married to Simone and the couple have four lovely children. Cool J and Simone met when the rapper was just 19 and they’ve been together since.
On how he was bringing up his children to give back to society, the NCIS Los Angeles actor disclosed: “I teach them to be grateful and I don’t spoil them. They have things but they don’t have everything. I won’t ever overdo it…they have to learn the value of creativity. It can’t only be about money because no matter whose child you are, even if you’re royalty, the only thing that’s really going to make your life amazing is creativity. If you’re not creating in your life, your life won’t be about anything.”