LL Cool J Net Worth

How much is LL Cool J worth?

Net Worth:$100 Million
Profession:Professional Rapper
Date of Birth:January 14, 1968 (age 55)
Country:United States of America
6 ft 1 in (1.87 m)

About LL Cool J

LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, is a rapper, producer, and actor who achieved mainstream success in the mid-80s, when he was just 16 years old. He is considered to be one of the first hip hop acts reach the mainstream alongside Run-D.M.C., and he has released 13 albums and several compilation records, going on to win two Grammy Awards.

In the 2000s, Cool J’s motives shifted to acting, as he has starred in In Too Deep, S.W.A.T., and Deep Blue Sea, and he currently stars in the CBS drama, NCIS: Los Angeles, which is currently in its 11th season. Some of Cool J’s most famous songs include “Going Back To Cali”, “I’m Bad”, and “Around The Way Girl”.

American rapper, record producer, actor, author, and entrepreneur LL Cool J has an estimated net worth of $100 million dollars, as of 2023. Many people known him better for his appearances on NCIS than they do for his rap music these days, yet Cool J has been rapping for all of his career.

Being influenced by The Treacherous Three, LL Cool J started rapping from 9 years old and was creating demo tapes from the age of sixteen using turntables, a mixer, an amplifier, and eventually a Korg drum machine, all the elements that were needed to put together a hip hop track at the time.

As most rappers these days would upload their tracks to SoundCloud and wait patiently for them to become popular, Cool J was sending his demo tapes to labels by the time he was 16. He quickly got snapped up by Def Jam, which was newly founded by Russel Simmons at the time, and with the label Cool J released Radio, his first studio album, when he was just 17.

Radio was a massive success as it sold more than 1.5 million copies and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Not only was the record a commercial hit, but it was met with tons of praise from critics for being a much friendlier version of hip hop than listeners were used to.

Following that, Cool J released Bigger and Deffer two years later, which went two times platinum, and then Walking With A Panther two years after that, and it again went platinum. However, in 1990, Cool J did begin to adopt a more edgier sound to be more in line with the gangster rap that was evolving and released the record Mama Said Knock You Out.

In the late 1990s, Cool J’s interests shifted in to acting, as he scored a role in Halloween H20. He then starred in the horror comedy Deep Blue See and In Too Deep in 1999. At the turn of the century, Cool J got his biggest break yet, as he starred in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday, an American football movie co-starring Jamie Foxx.

Cool J then scored a bunch of roles in popular movies such as S.W.A.T., Deliver Us From Eva, and Mindhunters, but his next tent pole movie was a holiday romantic comedy in which he played the love interest to Queen Latifah in The Last Holiday.

In 2009, Cool J earned his biggest role yet, but it wasn’t in a movie. The CBS police drama NCIS: Los Angeles has featured the rapper since its inception, as he plays ex-Navy SEAL Sam Hanna.

Cool J has starred in all 11 seasons of the show and he has won a Teen Choice Award for his performance in it. Since 2015, the entertainer has also served as the host for the show Lip Sync Battle, in which two celebrities battle each other in lip sync battles to see who can perform better.

LL Cool J might have only ever had one album to top the Billboard 200, which was 2000’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all Time), but most of his albums have gone platinum and two-time platinum nevertheless. His best selling album is 1995’s Mr. Smith, which sold more than 2.1 million copies and his highest charting and best selling songs as a lead artist, “Lounging” and “Hey Lover”, are from that album.

But his best chart performance of all time comes from when he featured on Jennifer Lopez’s “All I Have”, which peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Though Cool J started out as a successful rapper and was looked at that way for a long time, he is now better known as an actor and TV personality, and that’s reflected in his pay checks.

The actor has been starring in NCIS: Los Angeles for more than 11 years now, and since he started his salary has risen to a massive estimated $350,000 per episode. With there usually being 24 episodes to a season, Cool J would be looking at a yearly figure of $8.4 million for portraying the special agent with a heart of gold. Though it isn’t reported how much he earns per episode of Lip Sync Battle, it has to be six figures too, and with him having five seasons of that show under his belt, Cool J has earned the majority of his wealth from television.

LL Cool J was a part of a growing trend in hip hop called new school and he played a hand in creating hip hop’s golden age, as he was one of the few who stopped merging rap with disco music and introduced a style of music that used ghetto blasters as an instrument.

New school was very heavy on drum machines, which is how Cool J started his career at such a young age. Along with Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C., Cool J combined rapping with music that had never been amalgamated with hip hop, and together they pioneered the rap-rock hybrid.

Instead of older rappers using old bands and dressing in bedazzled outfits, Cool J had a tough and cool manner about him that would create a new path for hip hop artists. And instead of creating these seven-minute party jams, which is what hip hop used to be made up of, Cool J composed much shorter songs with the intention for them to be radio friendly, in which he’d get more airplay and be able to get his name out to the world.

Thanks to this, Cool J had a heavy hand in hip hop music reaching the multi-racial audiences that it has today.

Cool J’s Total Net Worth

LL Cool J has earned estimated total career income of $190 million dollars. His salary for NCIS is $350,000 per episode. As Cool J lives in the state of California, he will have had to pay around 49% in taxes on his career income. After tax, it is estimated that his career earnings are at around $96.9 million dollars, having paid $93.1 million dollars in taxes.

LL Cool J married Simone Smith in 1995 and they remain together with their four children. In his personal life he has likely spent $6-7 million dollars of his career earnings but also earned $12-17 million dollars from his investments. He will have also had to pay around $4-5 million dollars in business related costs. Therefore, it is estimated that LL Cool J has a net worth of about $100 million dollars.


Thanks to his commitment to hip hop at such a young age and having the foresight to see where the landscape of rap was heading, Cool J now has a discography full of adventurous and envelope pushing music. But it’s thanks to his work on television in the 2000s that has helped the rapper reach a huge estimated net worth of $100 million.

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