‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star LL Cool J to Host MTV Awards

by Suzanne Halliburton

NCIS: Los Angeles star LL Cool J will step away from acting for an evening later this month. That’s when he’ll embrace his first love, music.

He’ll co-host the MTV Music Awards, Aug. 28. He’ll join Nicki Minaj and Jack Harlow to MC one of the biggest musical events of the year. The choice of hosts also foreshadows a big night for hip hop.

And no doubt, being back on the MTV stage will bring back memoires for the NCIS: Los Angeles star. After all, 25 years ago, he received a Video Vanguard Award to become the first rapper to earn the honor. This year, the hip hop artists are dominant. Kendrick Lamar, Lil Nas X, and Harlow each have seven nominations, the most for any performer.

Rock the Bells, LL Cool J’s hip-hop and lifestyle brand, announced his participation. The company’s tweet also noted that LL Cool J performed at the VMAs for the first time in 1991, when he won Best Rap Video.

The rap icon also had enough time from NCIS: Los Angeles to host a music festival in his hometown of NYC. He called it the Rock the Bells Festival, with many legendary names performing at Forest Hills Stadium for the sold out show earlier this month.

But he’s also been back with NCIS: Los Angeles to film season 14. The show’s fall premiere is Oct. 9. CBS hasn’t revealed many details about the LA NCIS spinoff. The original NCIS will do a two-hour crossover with NCIS: Hawai’i to celebrate their season premieres on Sept. 19.

LL Cool J is an original NCIS: Los Angeles cast member. (CBS ©2022)

But LA details have leaked. Daniela Ruah, who plays Kensi Blye, will direct the fifth episode of season 14. It’s in production right now. Ruah announced the news earlier this week via Instagram. TV Line reported that the episode will focus on missing explosives and domestic abuse in the Navy. The episode is “Flesh & Blood.”

This will be Ruah’s fifth career episode to direct for NCIS: Los Angeles. She did three in season 13 — “Live Free or Die Standing,” “Pandora’s Box,” and “Lost Sailor Down.” Then in season 12, she directed “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

NCIS: Los Angeles episode three will feature real-life veteran Greg Gadson, a retired Army colonel who lost both his legs in an IED explosion in Iraq in 2007. He wouldn’t retire from active military after his injuries. He then ran the Army’s Wounded Warrior program and ended his career after 26 years as Garrison Commander at Fort Belvoir in Virginia.

LL Cool J portrays Sam Hanna on the show. And episode four brings back Aiden, Sam’s son. Aiden played a part in last season’s intro, although you didn’t see him. Rather, you see Sam and Callen (Chris O’Donnell) look up at the sky, with Sam raising a fist to acknowledge Aiden flying a fighter jet overhead.