‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star LL Cool J’s Queens Statue Plays Solar-Powered Music

by Amanda Glover
(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

Fans of LL Cool J’s early single, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” will be happy to hear something new and exciting – no pun intended.

The NCIS: Los Angeles actor has a statue that plays the song through solar-powered music. The sculpture built the monument for the rapper. It features a boom box that allows fans to rock out to hits from his Rick & Roll Hall of Fame career. The music plays continuously from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. So far, parkgoers appear to be loving it!

Sherwin Banfield, Astoria-based sculptor of the actor’s 1985 debut LP discussed the sculpture with the New York Post. “‘Radio’ is his first album, so that’s marked in the sculpture. You got the Kangol hat; you got the young, strong features in the face. And he’s wearing the Cuban link chain from the ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ album cover. It’s in the company of Arthur Ashe and David Dinkins.”

LL Cool J’s statue is located in David Dinkins Circle. This location is not that far from the Arthur Ashe statue in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Banfield gained inspiration for the statue after the 2018 unveiling of “A Cypher in Queens.” This was a monument to Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dog, and Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. The statue also happened to play the music of the late rap icons in Long Island City’s Socrates Sculpture Park. The figure comes from bronze, stainless steel, and a material called Winterstone. 

“That was my first foray into this idea of preserving our hip-hop culture, which I think is necessary,” he said.

Why Did LL Cool J Join ‘NCIS: Los Angeles?’

Being part of the hit crime drama has definitely helped LL Cool J’s career over the years. The actor discussed why he chose to take on the role.

“I had a great experience on another drama. I did the season opener of another drama a few seasons ago and I caught the bug. What I wanted was to act, and I wanted to act on a regular basis. And I wanted to challenge myself and allow myself to go on another level and allow myself to mature and experience something new in my life. And part of that maturity process is not continuing to do the same things that you’ve always done. So, I decided to commit to this show, commit to what I thought was a great team. I believe in the NCIS brand and hopefully, people will enjoy the show,” he says.

The fact that LL Cool J wanted consistency in his acting career is likely part of the reason he still plays Senior NCIS Special Agent Sam Hanna on the show.