Today in Hip-Hop: LL Cool J Drops ‘Todd Smith’ Album
On this day, April 11, in hip-hop history...
2006: Hip-hop pioneer LL Cool J drops his 11th album, Todd Smith, and adds yet another plaque to his name.
With a career that already solidified him as one of rap's brightest stars, LL Cool J was still creating, dropping albums and videos after spending over 20 years in hip-hop. On April 11, 2006, LL released Todd Smith, his 11th studio album. The project was 13 tracks long, and boasted production from Pharrell, Lyfe Jennings and more. The featured artists were a mix of newer and buzzing acts, mixed in with more established artists. The song's first track has an appearance from DipSet's Juelz Santana, followed by songs with Mary J. Blige, Teairra Mari, Freeway, Ginuwine and more.
The album's two singles were reflective of the times. The initial single from Todd Smith was "It's LL and Santana," with a verse and hook work from, you guessed it, Juelz. The song itself was a cool meeting of different eras of rap, with a beat reminiscent of Roc-A-Fella's heyday. Juelz definitely bought it, refusing to slack on LL's song. "Check it, I stay in smoke filled Benzes/Don't see nothin, you know the whole world's tinted," Juelz rapped, sounding at home on a song with a legend.
The second single was the Jennifer Lopez-assisted "Control Myself." This was the second union between LL and J-Lo, as they collabed for Lopez's single "All I Have" in 2002. The video for "Control Myself" was shot by Hype Williams, the biggest hip-hop video director of the time.
Todd Smith was another success for LL Cool J, as it debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA.
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