Hollis native and hip-hop legend LL Cool J appeared on the latest episode of the YouTube channel First We Feast’s popular series Hot Ones, during which he discussed his life and career with the show’s host, Sean Evans, as the two attempted to maintain composure while eating hot wings with increasingly spicy hot sauces.
Having already been a fan of the series, LL Cool J admitted his nervousness going into the interview. He said that he usually attempts to avoid spicy food when dining out at restaurants. This became evident when he already started to feel the spiciness after the first hot sauce, which measured in at 1,600 scovilles. By the time he reached the hot sauce known as “Da Bomb Beyond Insanity,” which measures in at 135,600 scovilles, LL Cool J needed to coat his mouth with ice cream in order to get through the remainder of the show.
The ice cream didn’t appear to have much of an effect, as he described his mouth as feeling as though it was getting hotter. This did lead Evans to ask LL Cool J about his favorite ice cream flavors. According to LL Cool J, his favorite flavors often vary, with some of his notable favorites including neopolitan and cookies and cream.
LL Cool J discussed his recent appearance at the Grammy’s in which he and several other notable hip-hop artists performed to honor the 50th anniversary of hip-hop. According to LL Cool J, this marked one of his most enjoyable Grammy memory, despite having received multiple awards there in the past and having hosted the show before.
“I’ve had other moments just purely hosting as well,” LL Cool J said. “But as an artist, this was by far the most fun for me. Being on stage with Rakim, Public Enemy and Salt-N-Pepa. For years hip-hop has been served in a greasy brown paper bag. I want it to be served on a silver platter. I was able to make a huge contribution.”
He also confirmed the long-held rumor that the animatronic shark in the 1999 film “Deep Blue Sea” almost drowned him on set. He said that while it was grasping his leg, the controller of it got distracted when it was announced that the crew could take their lunch break. It caused LL Cool J to get pulled into the water and his breathing apparatus failed. He ended up breaking free of the animatronic and resurfacing, where he was met with a crew member laughing about seeing what happened while smoking a cigarette.
LL Cool J likened trying the increasingly more powerful hot sauces to episodic television shows. As he moves on to each new hot sauce, he first feels the “recap” of the one that came before.
As he completed “The Last Dab,” LL Cool J was asked to reflect on the importance of hip-hop in his life. He credits it for vastly changing his life in a positive way.
“If I wasn’t doing hip-hop, it would’ve been either the military, bank robbing or drug dealing,” LL Cool J said. “When I was a kid and in my 20s, it was about taking my shirt off and making it about me. Now it’s about looking out at the culture and elevating all of these artists and making sure that this culture is celebrated the way that it should be.”
After his “Hot Ones” episode went live, he sent out a tweet indicating he likely wouldn’t be returning to the show as a guest.
“Never again,” he jokingly tweeted.
— LLCOOLJ (@llcoolj) February 23, 2023
Last August, the Hollis native hosted and performed at the Rock the Bells Festival at Forest Hills Stadium. It marked the first live concert from his music company.
In addition to LL Cool J, other performers at the event included Z-Trip, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Lil Kim, The Diplomats featuring Cam’ron, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana, Fat Joe and Remy Ma, Jadakiss, Scarface performing the 20th anniversary of The Fix, Trina, Digable Planets and Queens native artists N.O.R.E, Onyx, Havoc of Mobb Deep and Large Professor. Hip-Hop rapper Roxanne Shanté acted as the event’s host.