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I Make My Own Rules [Hardcover]

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 28 1997
The autobiography of the well-known hip-hop and rap star, television actor, and positive role model details his career, childhood, private life, public service, and views on the music business. 145,000 first printing. Tour."

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Product Description


"A stellar example of how to endure, grow up and become an adult in the perpetually adolescent world of rap." --The Source

"There are rebels and there are innovators. I'm an innovator." --L.L. Cool J

"Keeping it real ain't about carrying a gun or smoking blunts. It's about being true to yourself and those around you." --L.L. Cool J

"In this business, sex is like candy-plentiful and cheap." --L.L. Cool J
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher


"Meet an LL Cool J that few know...Revealing." -JET

"Smith candidly shares his life lessons, blessings and hardships...RULES is a charismatic page-turner...RULES is funny, entertaining and enlightening, but what makes it so special is that it's the first memoir from an around-the-way, self-proclaimed student of Hip-Hop, who tells us how we can simultaneously succeed and stay true to ourselves at the same time."

-RAP PAGES --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It took four hours of labor, sweating, and pacing. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Class Project June 7 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The book I read is called I make my own rules. It deals with a Man with a dream. Not Martin Luther King but he had a dream to be the best M.C. around. He wanted to have the best beats and rhymes made in history of rappers. His name is LL Cool J also known as James. He grew up talking about his childhood life. How he had bad and good times. Mentioned how he met Run-DMC during his open mike night at the Apollo, and about his family and wife and his three kids. What I liked about the book is that it was base on Cool J and how he lived his life in the bad side of his town. James Ruled his town like the number 1 bully he would always carry his switchblade with him if there would be any trouble with him or the friends he new. He'll always be there to help them get out of trouble and try telling them to avoid getting thrown in the slammer. Everyone in that lived around James's block would know what the deal is. The things I didn't like about the book is that is the sad moments. True something might happen to someone but that always gets me. Example of one Cool J had a dog. He would spend his time playing with it. One day his dog got caught hanging from a hole in the backyard he said he tried to reach the basement but was to late. That is the reason I don't do sad stories.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LL Cool J Uncensored May 11 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
James Todd Smith, AKA LL Cool J, lays bare his heart and soul in this engaging and candid autobiography. He tells of his somewhat traumatic childhood that was filled with domestic violence, and the affect that it continues to have on his life. He also gives a realistic, behind the scenes, view of the music industry-the sex, groupies, and drugs. With emotion he tells of a time in his life that he was not proud of, a time when he was young, immature, and had plenty of money to throw around. Smith uses his life to teach the lesson to youngsters that we all make mistakes and to view them as a learning experience. The book also shares some of LL Cool J's opinions about the current state of rap, the murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac, and other pertinent issues.
This book is exciting, inspiring, and heartfelt. It tells a story of one man's obstacles and triumphs to go from a troubled boy to a multi-platinum-recording artist and actor. Readers will walk away from this book with a true sense of both James Todd Smith and LL Cool J. I highly recommend this work.
*Note this refers to the Parent Advisory Edition
Reviewed by Latoya Carter-Qawiyy
of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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5.0 out of 5 stars A True Example of Resiliency March 4 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In my opinion, "I Make My Own Rules" by LL Cool J is a very insightful piece of art. It describes the possible emotional affects on children as the result of physical abuse. This book relays the level of intelligence and creativity that he has despite of being a high school dropout. LL Cool J is an example of resiliency since he was able to use the gifts that God has given him to overcome adversity. This book provides examples of his resilience. "I Make My Own Rules" also informs the reader of Mr. Smith's personal and family values as well as his outlook on relationships, family, the rap industry and religion. This book gives the reader a good depiction of the rap industry.
I recommend that everyone read this book. The words are easy to understand and the messages are clear. I especially think that minority males, teenagers, aspiring musicians and professionals in the helping fields such as psychology, psychiatry, counseling, social work, and mental health therapy should read this book. It gives insight into the struggles of minorities and into the ways they cope with these struggles.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Review... Oct. 4 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Well, what can I say that you do not already know? This is a book written by Mr. Smith himself about his music and his life, which we found out are one the same. LL is a very honest person. I have known about some of the details of his addictions, and I am very proud to know he did not hide any of them.
I am a some what fan of LL, I have heard some of his music {Deepest Bluest was my favorite}.I have seen a few of his movies, Any Given Sunday and Deep Blue Sea to name a few. I am suprised that he did not say much about it though.
The reason I said the above was to say that I am so into him that I will just put some mindless drable and give it a 5 star all the way. I mean that because a lot of "pure" LL fans just want him to make this. {Not all, just some}
Some parts I found less then enjoyable were in what seemed like every chapter, he would put his iwes on God, drugs and such right there and not give you a choice to read it. There should of been a chapter intitled the "Race" chapter, the "Drug" chapter the "Feel Sorry For Me Because I Was Beat" chapter. I know that is a little over board but he just should not of mised it all.
He talks alot about himself being very good, and he equaly talkes about himself being bad. It is a well written book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book April 14 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not a book reader. I don't like to read for personal enjoyment at all. Just to prove it I would rather clean the bathroom of my home than read a book. The only time I would be seen at a library is if I had to get a book for a class assignment in school. That is about to change 'cause a couple of weeks ago I was told I had to read a book for my Senior English class. The assignment was to read any book that we wanted and I chose "I Make My Own Rules" by L. L. Cool J. This book was very deep. It will take you into the life, struggle, pain, and rebuilding of James Todd "L. L. Cool J" Smith. From times before he was born to his climb up the latter of fame to his descent toward the pit of greed and darkness back up to the light. The book was not just for the sake of writing a book nor was it just for getting everything that has happened to him out in the open. It was a personal testimony or a written speech for the reader and youth that he feels would help in their quest to grow. If there was a way for him to reach one person and to help them see that you don't have to settle for less, or that there is more to life than what is offered, then he has done his job. "I Make My Own Rules" was an excellent book. Now having read it, I want to start personal reading and I will start with books like these. Even though this book dealt more with negative parts of his life, it gets his points across about being true to yourself and to others. By telling you about himself and what he has been through, there is the hope that you will see his mistakes and learn from them as he has. The point of view is from first person and well he speaks in a mild slang sort of tone which is makes it very easy for just about any person to read. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Boogie Down
My wife borrowed this book and encouraged me to read it. I could not put it down. LL is very honest about his past vices. I recommend this book to anyone, especially young people.
Published on Nov. 12 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars UNCLE L IS WILD
I read this book and I found out that this sexy young man faced a lot of trials and tribulations to get to this point in his life. Read more
Published on March 12 2003 by Nardsbaby
5.0 out of 5 stars LL Cool J lovers
LL Cool J.'s I make my own rules is a story about his life. James Todd Smith tells about how he is abused as a young child by his father. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2002 by sw.pd3
5.0 out of 5 stars LL Stands for luscious lips
What can I say the boy is fine as hell. I enjoyed this book. My only problem with it was the fact that he didn't truly cuss in it. Read more
Published on July 23 2002 by Myrtle A. McDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This book takes the reader into life behind the star. After reading this bio, it made me love LL even more. Read more
Published on April 4 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars How time flys
I bought this book to find out about a little girl that I used to know. That little girl grew up in St. Albans, Queens. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2001 by Jean Ortiz
5.0 out of 5 stars How time flys
I bought this book to find out about a little girl that I used to know. That little girl grew up in St. Albans, Queens. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2001 by Jean Ortiz
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
I loved LL Cool J, he was a real honest when he wrote this book.
Published on Oct. 18 2001 by "shalayia"
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I have ever read
LL Cool J is my favortie, artist, whether it be in rapping, acting, whatever he does. I bought this book on the day it came out, as with all of his c.d.'s. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2000 by Maggie Trask
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