LL Cool J said in his autobiography that the idea for the song “Mama Said Knock You Out” came from a discussion with his grandmother. He said to his grandmother that he felt that he couldn’t survive as a rapper now that gangster/hardcore rap was popular and he was being talked about by several up-and-coming rappers; and seen in as washed up. She responded, “Oh baby, just knock them out!”
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LL made the transition to acting years ago and he’s now enjoying a lot of success with his role on the TV hit NCIS: Los Angeles. He didn’t let criticism get him down because he envisioned his goal – the same applies to his working out.
Of course there are days when the 47-year-old doesn’t feel like getting out of bed, but his whole philosophy is about managing to overcome this first impulse and keep on going. That philosophy came from his talk with his grandma. He understood it to mean this:
“You gotta master your emotions, master yourself. What’s that saying? It’s saying ‘A man who can conquer himself is greater than the one who can conquer a city.’ If it’s the right thing, and you know you’re supposed to do it – do it even if you don’t feel like doing it. Knock it out.” the star says.