LL Cool J Decoded: The Greatest Brand of All Time

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When LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) was just a teen his mother used her income tax return (about $600) to buy him a drum machine. Some 27 years later, the Queens MC has become one of hip-hop music’s greatest of all time, parlaying his success into numerous ventures that don’t require the microphone he has tattooed on his arm. Needless to say, the return on his mom’s investment has been astronomical. With LL receiving the well-deserved I Am Hip-Hop lifetime achievement awards at this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards, BlackEnterprise.com takes a hard look at the living legend’s diverse portfolio as part of our Decoded series. —Alvin Blanco

When LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) was just a teen his mother used…

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