Listen Live
Majic 102.3/92.7 Featured Video
TV One Urban One Honors

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

Honoring those who’ve paved the way for culture to prosper in the Black community is something we take to heart. When it comes to the world of music, particularly hip-hop, none are more deserving of getting their flowers quite like rap pioneer James Todd Smith, known lovingly to the masses simply by LL Cool J.

The 5th annual Urban One Honors will be airing on MLK Day 2023, and guess who’ll be the recipient of this year’s “Entertainment Icon Honor“?


RELATED: LL Cool J Set To Be Honored At 5th Urban One Honors

We could go on for days — decades even! — about why LL deserves such a prestigious accolade for the many areas of entertainment that he’s mastered so far. Emceeing? Started it! Acting? Pick a role! Philanthropy? Go ask the youth at Jump And Ball! Regardless of which way you pass the mic, LL Cool J’s reign as one of the greatest in his field simply can’t be questioned. For those either too young to truly understand why, or just need a good cheat code for your next GOAT debate, we put together a chronological breakdown of exactly what makes the man that ladies have loved for four decades and counting such an important figure in the world of hip-hop.

TV One Urban One Honors

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

As we prepare to give props to a true master behind the mic — so much so that he has one tatted on his arm! — take a look at 11 key moments that cemented LL Cool J as the GOAT of all GOATs. Whether you agree or disagree, one thing for certain is that you’ll have a clear understanding of why he’s receiving the Entertainment Icon Honor at this year’s Urban One Honors, airing on MLK Day (January 16) at 7P/6C on TVOne.

Take a look below at 11 ways LL Cool J has proved he’s the greatest of the greats when it comes to hip-hop, and sound off with some of your own favorite moments involving Mr. Smith:

11 Ways LL Cool J Became Hip-Hop’s GOAT of GOATs  was originally published on

1. Giving Birth To Def Jam Records With ‘Radio’ (1985)

2. Pioneering The Art Of Rap Ballads With “I Need Love” (1987)

3. Stepping Into His Status As A Hard-Edge Sex Symbol With “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1991)

4. Becoming A TV Star With ‘In The House’ (1995 – 1999)

5. Introducing The World To Foxy Brown With “I Shot Ya (Remix)” (1995)

6. Going Global With “Ain’t Nobody” (1996)

7. His Victory In The Canibus Beef On “4, 3, 2, 1” (1997)

8. Cementing His Status With ‘G.O.A.T.’ (2000)

Cementing His Status With 'G.O.A.T.' (2000) Source:Getty

9. Morphing Into An Action Star With ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ (2009)

10. Becoming The First Hip-Hop Honoree At The Kennedy Center Honors (2017)

Becoming The First Hip-Hop Honoree At The Kennedy Center Honors (2017) Source:Getty

11. Receiving His ‘Rock And Roll Hall of Fame’ Induction (2021)