“LL Cool J” was a part-acronym for Ladies Love Cool James. He was born in Bay Shore, New York in 1968 and known to his family and friends as James Todd Smith. He started rapping at nine years old, then in ’84 released his first official 12-inch single record titled “I Need a Beat” — under the then newly established Def Jam records. LL Cool J started acting in the 1980s, via cameos in the Krush Groove and Wildcats movies, then in 1992 he landed his role next to Robin Williams in Toys; three years later he starred in his In The House sitcom. Throughout the 1990s-2000s, LL starred in a variety of movies and TV shows; in 2009, he landed his role as NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna, an ex–Navy SEAL — in CBS’s NCIS: Los Angeles.
Throughout LL Cool J’s acting career, he continued performing at concerts. In 2008, Mike Madriaga created a commercial for a LL Cool J and Frankie J concert, promoted by Blazin’ 98.9’s; the 30 second commercial aired on the local BET Network channels and was posted on the station’s Myspace page at the time.