#213: Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J
James Todd Smith was born in 1968 on Long Island, New York. The Chicago Tribune later reported, “[As] a kid growing up middle class and Catholic in Queens, life for LL was heart-breaking. His father shot his mother and grandfather, nearly killing them both. When 4-year-old LL found them, blood was everywhere.” In 1972, Smith and his mother moved into his grandparents’ home in St. Albans, Queens, where he was raised. In 1978, after hearing the music of pioneering rap group, The Treacherous Three, Smith began rapping at the age of ten. By the age of 16, in 1984, he was making demos with two turntables, mixer and amplifier.