'NCIS: Los Angeles' Star LL Cool J Reminisces Over 30-Year Career, Revisits First Album 'Radio'

by Raphael Chestang 7:09 PM PST, November 09, 2015
Playing 'NCIS: Los Angeles' Star LL Cool J Reminisces Over 30-Year Career, Revisits First Album 'Radio'

LL Cool J stopped by the ET stage on Monday to reminisce over his game-changing first album, and what it's like to be directed by his NCIS: Los Angeles co-star Chris O'Donnell.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of his first album, Radio. LL's first LP also served as Dej Jam Recordings' first full-length album release. The project is widely regarded as LL Cool J's best work as well as one of the most seminal works in hip-hop, but ET's Nancy O'Dell was focused on the front and back cover.

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"I haven't decided about the Gilligan's Island hat," Nancy said, inciting a belly laugh from the 47-year-old GRAMMY winner.

"Oh, Lovey!" LL said, in reference to the character Mrs. Lovey Howell, played by Natalie Schafer.

Today, LL is a hot commodity in Hollywood -- he stars on NCIS: Los Angeles and hosts Lip Sync Battle on Spike -- but there was a time when he had to beg for a job. He recalled the unorthodox way he was cast in the 1985 cult classic Krush Groove, about a fictional rap label based on the early days of Def Jam.

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"When they were filming this movie, I just begged them and begged them and bugged them to be in the movie and they figured out a scene for me and let me come in and audition," LL told ET.

Nowadays, LL has it made, but he still has bosses -- one of them being NCIS: LA co-star Chris O'Donnell, who directed the most recent episode, titled "An Unlocked Mind."

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"Chris always has a lot of ideas about things anyway, so it works well," LL said.

NCIS: Los Angeles airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.