LL Cool isn't going anywhere. One of rap's top free agents just re-signed to Def Jam, the only recording home he has known, and he's already tentatively slated his next LP for a December release.
"Def Jam and myself came to an agreement we both felt good about," Cool J announced to a room full of reporters over the July 4 holiday weekend, shortly after performing at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. "I'm just happy to be a part of the continued success. That [deal] is done and straight. Album 11 is on the way."
LL didn't waste any time celebrating his new contract. On Monday, accompanied by executives from his label, he rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The legendary mic rocker said he has no idea when he's going to give up his job as an MC; it's a labor of love.
"I love what I do," he said. "If you really love to do something, how much can you do it? Whatever you love, you're gonna keep doing it again and again and again. I really enjoy entertaining. I love sharing with the people, being able to communicate through the art, whether it's music or movies. People still give me love. When you're up, you handle it with grace. When you're down, you look forward to the challenge of getting back up again."
It doesn't look like LL will have any downtime for the rest of the year. He's about to start the promotion cycle for his next movie, "S.W.A.T.," due August 8 (see "LL Cool J, Colin Farrell Duck Flying Chevy Blazers On Set Of 'S.W.A.T.' ""), and later this summer he's headed to Montreal to start filming the suspense thriller "Slow Burn" with Ray Liotta, Mekhi Phifer and Guy Torry.
"After the movie, I'm going to start working on my album, then I hit the road again," he said. "I move back and forth and kinda keep that balance. Hot movie? Do it. Hot show? Do it. Just go after it."