‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ Star LL Cool J Performs in We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert

by Suzanne Halliburton

LL Cool J, long before he was Sam Hanna on NCIS: Los Angeles, became a super star in the pop and hip hop music world.

And there he was Saturday night in New York entertaining thousands with his signature song, Mama Said Knock You Out. LL Cool J then kicked it even more old school, combining with Rev Run for a fun, energetic version of It’s Tricky. If you weren’t dancing, you weren’t trying.

LL Cool J Took a Brief Break from NCIS: Los Angeles

LL Cool J took the weekend off from production of NCIS: Los Angeles to be part of a concert that salutes his hometown.

The event is billed as We Love NYC: The Homecoming. The five-hour concert, with a giant stage set up in the middle of Central Park, features huge names from all musical genres. Performers scheduled for the event include Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Houston, Kane Brown, Andrea Bocelli, Journey, Carlos Santana and Barry Manilow. Fans had to avoid raindrops from the outer bands of Hurricane Henri.

Clive Davis helped coordinate the concert with the city and Live Nation. The concert, which is on CNN, is in tribute to NYC, which took the early brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic. All those who attended the concert needed to show proof of a Covid vaccination.

LL Cool J stole the show. He asked a number of New York hip hop stars to be part of his performance. The hip hop segment included Grand Master Flash, French Montana, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, Rev Run, Busta Rhymes, Spliff Star, Melle Mel, Scorpio and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.

The NCIS: Los Angeles star sported a light green sweatshirt and matching joggers. He wore his signature cap and chunky chains along with electric yellow sneakers.

As he finished his performance, LL Cool J told the crowd: “Hip hop was born and raised in New York. Hip hop is New York. Peace.”

LL Cool J grew up in Queens back when he was known as James Todd Smith. But by the time he produced his first single at age 16, he was more LL Cool J, or Ladies Love Cool James

Hip Hop Star Is Known for Show in LA, But His Heart is in NYC

Earlier, the NCIS: Los Angeles star posted a video as he rode a helicopter to the Hamptons. It looked more like a scene from his show.

Last we saw Sam Hanna, he was staring up at the sky, watching his son fly overhead. His son was taking his fighter pilot’s test and Sam was a proud dad. But what more could be in store for Sam and his partner Callen when the show starts season 13. LL Cool J has been there for every step of the show. It’s by far his greatest acting success.

But Saturday showed that LL Cool J’s first love is music. He’s recorded 13 studio albums, 10 of them platinum. And in 2017, he was saluted with a Kennedy Center honor, the first hip-hop artist to achieve the distinction.

He’ll be back as Sam Hanna when NCIS: Los Angeles premieres, Oct. 10. Stay tuned.