LL Cool J--Still super-cool?

January 18, 2012|By Dana Moran | RedEye

It's been a long, long time since the Grammys had an official host -- seven years, to be exact. So there's a lot of pressure to pick a cool, cool MC -- LL Cool J, also to be exact. He'll be leading the night for performers such as Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters and Nicki Minaj. But how cool has LL remained in the past seven years? We took a look at his highs and lows to find out.

damoran@tribune.com | @redeyedana


1.5 -- He was on "House"! And in some Ray Liotta movie called "Slow Burn"! To be fair, he put out albums in 2004 and in 2006, so '05 may have been a slightly busy year in other departments.


2.5 -- Released his 11th album, which was actually self-titled in that it was called "Todd Smith," his real name. What's dragging this one down? The first single, "Control Myself," which featured JLo and rhymed "her top was short and purple" with "bellydancing in a circle."


4 -- Showed up on "30 Rock" as rapper Ridikolus, who Tracy Jordan thinks is going to kill him. Anyone who's feared by Tracy gains our respect. Of course, he's also afraid of elevators, his wife and juice, so this may not be the best benchmark.


2 -- Founded boomdizzle.com, a music social networking site. It appears to be different from Myspace in that artists can sell their original songs and albums on the site. It also appears to be different in that nobody has ever heard of it.


4 -- Scored one of the leading roles on "NCIS: Los Angeles" as Sam Hanna. His character managed to survive into the "NCIS" spinoff, which is amazing since those guys usually get blown up or something.


5 -- Used Elisabeth Hasselbeck to do biceps curls during a guest spot on "The View" for his book, "LL Cool J's Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle." And Joy Behar. And ... yes, you too, Sherri Shepherd. Now if you'll excuse the ladies, they need a moment.


4 -- The BET Hip Hop Awards honored LL with its I Am Hip Hop Award for the mark he's made on the hip-hop community. We're gonna go ahead and say it was for that biceps curl thing too.


What: 54th annual Grammy Awards

When: 7 p.m. Feb 12, CBS

Performers: Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift, with more to be announced

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