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|L.L. Cool J was born James Todd Smith on January 14, 1968, in Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, to James and Ondrea Smith. Todd, as he was called, did not have a very happy childhood. At the age of four, he saw his mother and grandfather shot by his own father. After they recovered from their injuries, his mother began to date a young physical therapist she met while in the hospital. The therapist treated Ondrea kindly, but for years he abused Todd physically and verbally, which resulted in Todd becoming a bully himself. It was during this period that he started wearing hats all the time (one of L.L. Cool J's trademarks is the fact that people never see him without a hat on--until recently) Fortunately, Ondrea finally discovered what this man was doing to her son and left him.
As he grew older, Todd found a way to escape the effects of his abuse and his bullying attitude: hip-hop music. He fell in love with it at the age of nine, and by 11 he was writing lyrics and making his own songs with some DJ equipment his grandfather gave him. At 15, he and one of his best friends came up with his present stage name, L.L. Cool J, which means "Ladies Love Cool James."
Want to find out what some of LL Cool J's tattoo designs & symbols mean? Check out: Kanji, Memorial Tattoos, Tribal Tattoos, Script Tattoos, Music Tattoos