LL COOL J is facing a paternity claim after a man alleging to be his biological son has spoken out about being purposefully “hidden” from the public for years.
The young musician named Love Benji uploaded a video to Instagram over the weekend in which claimed to be the biological offspring of the rap legend.
In the viral clip, Love Benji also shared details about an alleged NDA that he was supposedly tricked into signing to prevent his existence from being known. Benji claimed to not be very close with LL COOL J, but said he does send him some money at times.
“It takes a lot of courage for me to able to talk about this now at the age that I am,” Love Benji said in an Instagram post. “They made me sign the paperwork, you know, they didn’t want it to go public. This is probably around covid. They wanted to silence me [but] ever since my mother really told me the truth. I feel like it should be public; now I need to just get this off my chest. I want to give thanks to you too, man.
He continued: “James Todd Smith: that’s what I know him as, father, great man. But many of you probably know him as LL COOL J. He blocked me from all social media. I tried to take trips to see him … and his beautiful wife, siblings, brothers, and sisters. I never knew why I wanted to make music, why I wanted to be an actor, why I wanted to do these things. Turns out, my father is LL COOL J … I’m blessed.
“I’m thankful he’ll send me every now and then, probably $200 a month, but it ain’t about the money. He blessed me with the charm, the ladies, the charisma. I really didn’t want to take it here and have the blogs blow it up or nothing like that … Since he’s blocking my number, I haven’t heard much from him. I feel like this is how I’ll be about to reach out to him. That’s my truth. Let me know, Dad. Stay smooth … Blessed.”
HipHopDX has reached out to LL COOL J’s team for comment.
LL COOL J has yet to respond to Benji’s plea, but if he does turn out to be the offspring of the “All I Have” hitmaker, he wouldn’t be the first rap star to have an estranged relationship with his kin.
Last October, 50 Cent’s son, Marquise Jackson, issued an equally-as-emotional appeal to his father after he rejected his offer to resolve long-standing disputes.
“Now y’all all see I tried to reach out to talk to my pops as a MAN in front of the [world] & behind the scenes,” Jackson said in a lengthy Instagram post. “I have no phone number for you & You’ve had me blocked on social media for years so I can’t DM you personally & everybody that is mutual is scared to touch the topic bc they’re scared of you. This seems to be the only way to reach you.”
The pair have yet to have any sort of reconciliation.
LL COOL J, meanwhile, is hard at work on new music. He announced in January that he would be releasing his first full-length project in 10 years in 2023.
“I’m competing with myself on this new album,” he said on Twitter. “Wait til you hear this MF. [musical notes emoji]. This year B. It’s coming.”
The last LL COOL J album, Authentic, was released in 2013, five years after his last Def Jam album, Exit 13. During his time at Def Jam, LL released an album every two or three years from 1987 to 2008.