James Todd Smith — better known as LL COOL J — has evolved from a skinny little kid from Queens to a voracious MC at Def Jam Recordings to a brute force in all areas of entertainment. A talented actor, he made his first film appearance in the 1985 Hip Hop classic Krush Groove along future legends Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC, Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, percussionist Sheila E., The Fat Boys, Beastie Boys and many others.
Now, LL COOL J’s hometown has honored him with a new statue created in his likeness. Sculpted by Sherwin Banfield, the Radio-era creation features a replica of the famous boombox LL COOL J put on the album’s cover complete with a cassette version of his debut ready to go. On Tuesday (December 7), LL COOL J posted several photos and videos of the statue on his Instagram page.
He wrote in the caption, “Anything is possible. Statue of me in Corona Park, Queens by the talented @sherwintheartist.” As noted, the statue is located at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, New York.
LL COOL J has had a banner year so far. In October, the 53-year-old was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame after six nominations.
Held at Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland, Ohio, the 36th annual event boasted performances LL COOL J, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera and the Go-Go’s, among others. As LL COOL J took the stage for his performance, he was soon joined by Eminem for his 1985 Radio classic “Rock The Bells,” while Jennifer Lopez contributed to a live rendition of their 2002 collaboration, “All I Have.”
He also performed “Go Cut Creator Go” and “Mama Said Knock You Out” alongside a gaggle of dancers dressed in head-to-toe white.
Ladies Love Cool James is also the driving force behind the media site and SiriusXM Radio station Rock The Bells. In addition, he has two Grammy Awards under his belt and is the first rapper to receive the Kennedy Center Honors in 2017.
Many of LL COOL J’s peers came out to show their support on social media. Big Daddy Kane, who came up in the same Hip Hop era, shared Rock The Bells post and wrote in the caption, “LISTEN…The legacy that this man built!!!!! Congrats @llcoolj Salute to GREATNESS!!!”
But that was just the beginning. LL COOL J’s peers flooded his Instagram post with congratulatory remarks. His longtime DJ Z-Trip, Busta Rhymes, MC Ren, DJ EFN, MC Lyte, Grandmaster Caz and Royce Da 5’9 were just a few of the famous names in the comment section.
Biz Markie’s partner-in-crime The Cutmaster DJ Cool V and Roxanne Shanté — who co-host a radio show together on Rock The Bells — took a trip to the statue on their way to work.
As Cool V explained on Instagram, “This is How The Day Started with Me and @imroxanneshante having fun it in the park at the sight of The Newly Dedicated @llcoolj Statue it is well Deserved and Long overdue.”