book I Make My Own Rules

reviewed by Denise Turney

Published in Issue No. 13 ~ June, 1998

LL Cool J is known for his unique style of rap. He widened his appeal by gaining the lead role in the television series, In The House. His acting skills make him look like a natural. One would think LL Cool J (his real name is James Todd Smith) was handed his life and his career on a silver platter. Not so. Throughout his autobiography, LL Cool J makes this clear. From his abusive stepfather to the shooting of his mother and grandfather, I Make My Own Rules, shows its readers that easy living is not what took LL Cool J from being a troubled high school student to being one of the world’s leader entertainers.

Just as LL Cool J’s personality comes through in his rap songs and on the television series, In The House, so too, his personality comes through on the pages of his autobiography, I Make My Own Rules. Teenagers and young adults will especially relate to the book. Many of them will see themselves while LL Cool J re-tells events from his life. He takes readers through the neighborhoods he grew up in. He acquaints them with his grandmother, the woman he credits with giving him the idea for the song, “Mama Said Knock You Out”. He tells of the dangers of drugs and the abuses of celebrity. His love for his mother is evident throughout the book. As LL Cool J grows older, the reader watches him transfer this love to his wife and their three children.

I Make My Own Rules is a candid autobiography. It holds no punches. It leaves no stone unturned. The rigors of the road are defined in this satisfying autobiography. I Make My Own Rules is more than a book for music lovers. It is a book for everyone, especially those fascinated with the world of arts and entertainment. Readers will come away from the book realizing the only way to get to know the artist, free of meeting him in person and spending days and months in his presence, is to read I Make My Own Rules.

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Denise Turney is a freelance writer. Her works have appeared in various literary journals, magazines and newspapers around the nation. Late this month, her novel, PORTIA, will debut. She can be reached HERE