February 1, 2023

Today’s song of the day is “Father” by LL Cool J, singer, songwriter and actor. It was released on January 13, 1998, through the Def Jam record label.

The song “Father” is an autobiography that details LL’s abuse by his mother’s partner. 

Fun Facts:

  • The song’s lyrics were written by James Todd Smith, Claude Olivier, Samuel Barnes and George Michael.
  • LL Cool J was born on January 14, 1968, as James Todd Smith in Bay Shore Islip, New York. The talented rapper doubles as an actor, songwriter and record producer.
  • When he was four, Smith found his mother and grandfather in critical condition after being shot by his father. Thankfully, both survived and helped support his music career. 
  • By 16, Smith was making his own demo tapes and sending them to recording studios, including Def Jam. He signed onto Def Jam Recordings in 1984. 
  • Before he was LL Cool J, Smith took on the name J-Ski. However, he changed his name after discovering rappers used the name “Ski” in association with cocaine culture. LL Cool J stands for Ladies Love Cool James. 
  • “Father” is part of the album Phenomenon, released on October 14, 1997. The album is the seventh studio album by the talented rapper LL Cool J.
  • The hit single rose through the charts achieving unmatched success compared to other singles on the Phenomenon album.
  • “Father” made it to the 18th spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and rose to first place on the Hot Rap Singles.
  • The song eventually sold half a million copies.
  • Smith moved into the acting realm with appearances in Halloween H20, Any Given Sunday, S.W.A.T, and Last Holiday, among others. 
  • Today, he plays special agent Sam Hanna in NCIS. 
  • LL Cool J earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2016. 
  • He also has his own charitable foundation called Jump & Ball to provide athletic and team-building opportunities for young people. 


I swear to tell the truth and nothin but the truth…

so help me GOD

I just felt like tellin the story of my life

Felt like, maybe somebody could be inspired, you know?

We all feel pain, we all go through things

But it’s time to overcome all that

If your plane crashed in the water and everybody died

would you drown on purpose or try to survive?

I was born handicapped my arm wouldn’t move

They called me a cripple pops caught an attitude

Beat my moms smoked lye drove trucks

My moms had a miscarriage, he didn’t give a fuck

He sniffed some coke, come home

Beat up on my moms cause she’s talkin on the phone

Come on

(all I ever wanted)

All I ever wanted

(all I ever needed)

All I ever needed

(was a father)

was a father

(that’s all)

That’s all!

(all I ever wanted)

All I ever wanted

(all I ever needed)

All I ever needed… was a father

(was a father)

Moms got tired of the beatings said, “Yo, we got to go”

Packed up her bags we bounced out the do’

She said, “I ain’t takin these whippin’s no mo’

I wanna live to see my little Todd grow”

I remember tear drops on my pops face

Lookin down at me standin on the staircase

Handsome brother with a smooth goatee

Makes me wonder why he act so ugly, you feelin me?

(I’m feelin you)

My pops got drunk when me and my moms bounced

Swigged some Jack Dan’, sniffed up a ounce

Grabbed the shotty left Long Isle for Queens

Possesed by a demon… a devil it seemed

I was too young to understand the risk

when your moms come home off the midnight shift

She turned around heard the shotgun click

My pops said, “You think that you could leave me?”

He blasted my moms in the back

She fell down screamin I can’t forget that

My grandfather tried to close the do’

He got shot ten times in the stomach yo, for real

My head was spinnin, I had never seen blood

Four years old, this don’t feel like love

Anyway, pops dissapeared

Grandpops and moms healed up over the years

This therapist got up in her head

Led her to believe without him she’d be dead

You know, they fell in love with one another

Everything seemed right that’s word to mother

until I started gettin beatings everday

Sometimes for going outside to play

Late at night on my knees I’d pray

a young child, wishin the pain would go away

Dad where was you when he made me strip

Beat with belts like a slave with a whip

Kicked me down steps outside in the snow

Punched me in the chest stomped me out on the flo’

That’s just the tip of the iceberg look

It’s too long for a song but perfect for a book

Word is bond, that’s real baby


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