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I Make My Own Rules Hardcover – Aug 28 1997

4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Aug. 28 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312171102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312171100
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.3 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #581,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
This is the greatest book from a rapper that I read in my life. LL Cool J has not only proven himself as the greatest rapper ever, but one of the greatest human beings to ever walk the earth. I had friends and family read this book so that they can learn from the great one some of them took it to heart while some were to proud to admit that L is great because of what he went through. They are so rapped up in Tupac that they forgot who an originator of his style really is. You can not give this book enough praise because it was written so perfectly. This book isn't for african Americans, rappers, or rap fans. This book wasn't just made for minorities who are caught in the struggle. It was made for anyone with a pulse and a heartbeat. I guarantee no matter who you are you will enjoy this book. If you don't email me and give me your name and address and I will refund your money with a check. This book is that great. Anyone who is living life should read this book and make sure everyone they know either reads it or has it read to them. The best thing about it is that you can feel yourself interacting with L, experirencing what he was going through throughout the whole book. I love this book and I love LL Cool J because he has always been my father figure. I'm only nineteen and I've been listening to L's music for as long as I remember living. He is truly a great multi-talented all-around person. If you haven't read this book yet do it. Trust me it will not only change your life for the better, but it will help motivate you to do your best in the future. All of those haters who were to proud to give L his props did admit they liked the book, but they just don't want to realize who is truly the greatest. I'm going to meet up with L and do a song with him one because it is my dream.Read more ›
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By A Customer on June 7 2004
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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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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