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Ll Cool J

September 1 @ 8:00 PM PDT

LL Cool J

In the VH1 documentary Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation, Smith revealed that he initially called himself J-Ski, but did not want to associate his stage name with the cocaine culture (The rappers who use “Ski” or “Blow” as part of their stage name, e.g., Kurtis Blow and Joeski Love, were associated with the rise of the cocaine culture, as depicted in the 1983 remake of Scarface.) Under his new stage name LL Cool J (an abbreviation for Ladies Love Cool James), coined by his friend and fellow rapper Mikey D,Smith was signed by Def Jam, which led to the release of his first official record, the 12-inch single “I Need a Beat” (1984).The single was a hard-hitting, streetwise b-boy song with spare beats and ballistic rhymes.Smith later discussed his search for a label, stating “I sent my demo to many different companies, but it was Def Jam where I found my home.”



September 1
8:00 PM PDT
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