What the fuck? I thought I conquered the whole world
Crushed Moe Dee, Hammer, and Ice-T’s girl
But still, niggaz want to instigate shit
I’ll battle any nigga in tha rap game quick

Born on this this day in 1968, James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J, was born in Long Island, New York. As one of the trailblazing artists of Def Jam Records’ early days, Cool J went on to become one of the game’s most prominent figures, setting the standard for the solo MC as well as expanding his profession beyond the music.

In recognition of Mr. Smith’s born day, we took it back to the roots of Cool J’s career and the competetive spirit that maintained his position and respect in Hip Hop. Check out how we broke down LL’s most famous “Battles On Wax”.



Just when we thought the emcee who Ladies Love would disappear into eternal crossover obscurity, he wasn’t having Canibus even mentioning the mic on his arm without there being a lyrical duel. These two took it there on the star studded “4,3,2,1” featuring DMX, Redman, Master P and Method Man.


Kool Moe Dee


One of the illest darts thrown at an otherwise respected mic giant was when Cool J told rap legend/actor Kool Moe Dee “..and got the nerve to have those Star Trek shades on…” Ouch.



MC Shan

When LL came out in 1985 with his Def Jam debut single “I Need A Beat”, there was already a Kangol crowned emcee from Queensbridge Projects by the name of MC Shan. The teenage Cool J was even name dropped in the BDP/Juice Crew battle by KRS saying to Shan on the BX anthem “South Bronx”, “Instead of tryin’ to take out LL you need to take your homeboys off the crack..”




LL’s clash with another Hip Hop legend started when West Coast pioneer Ice-T released I’m Your Pusher from his POWER LP. On the track, a Hip Hop junkie was copping that real Hip Hop and when he was asked if he wants some LL Cool J, the junkie replied, “Nah, you can keep that..” The Farmers Boulevard Bully responded on “To Da Break Of Dawn”, rhyming, “a brother with a perm deserves to get burned..” The rumors of Ice’s ex-wife Darlene didn’t do anything to ease the tensions between these two.


MC Hammer

Another victim of the self proclaimed GOAT’s “To Da Break Of Dawn” diss record was pop/crossover punching bag MC Hammer. Everyone from 3rd Bass to A Tribe Called Quest joined in on the Universal beatdown of Hammer, including LL, who said,  “..My old gym teacher don’t need to rap..”