Label: Def Jam
LL Cool J famously represented Queens on “Doin It Well,” among other hits, but James Todd Smith has lived practically his whole life east of the New York city line in Long Island. Having spent his early years in Suffolk County before making his way to Hollis, Queens as a teen, the rapper-turned-actor has more recently called the upscale Nassau County enclave of Manhasset his home.
Even if L.I. allows the Q Borough credit for Ladies Love Cool James’ other signature releases (‘90’s Mama Said Knock You Out, ‘95’s Mr. Smith) it would still have to claim Radio, though: Def Jam’s first LP release not only gave the world its introduction to LL’s “hard as hell” rhymes but also to the abrasive, bell-rocking production style of another Long Island native: Rick Rubin.