Now that we’ve engorged ourselves on Iverson and Tiger, it’s time to return to our countdown of celebrity mugs. Be forewarned: this list will most likely get sidetracked again due to the following things happening in The Kids’ world:
- stomaching my way through Alicia Keys’ newest album to give it a review
- vomiting through nose, eyes and anus from looking at these celebrity faces
- reviewing Tiger Woods’ sex life
So, be ready. Hope you enjoyed the preview of things to come.
Anyway, so far we’ve looked at Goldie Hawn and Bruce Jenner–two faces used to create a composite sketch for “Gollum” in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And then we dove into the folds of puppet fabric that is Maggie Gyllenhaal’s face.
You know LL; he of the lip-licking raps, he of the rapper-turned-shit-movie-actor trend, he of the “let’s continue diarrhea-watering down network TV by creating a show starring LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell!”.
That LL Cool J.
Let’s have a look, shall we? We shall.
Worst Celebrity Faces #7: LL COOL J
One of my all-time favorite memories (besides seeing Salma Hayek in Desperado) was watching my best friend in HS–we’ll call him “Flash” for ID reasons–serenading the girl he loved (at the time, before he discovered porn days later) with a song in our school’s parking lot. In front of her boyfriend.
Anyway; the song?
“Hey Lover” by LL Cool J (feat. Boyz II Men).
At the time, I laughed. I mean, it was pretty fuggin’ funny. But I also, both then and now, respected the fact that he did that. He manned-up, did a man-thing (and at the tender age of 15!), and taught me something very valuable: LL Cool J songs can get you some play. Now, admittedly, Flash didn’t get the girl, but everyone there–the girl, her boyfriend, me, the school mascot, our boy “Dave” who later became a Taliban terrorist, even Flash himself–were all really impressed with experiencing that moment, and I’m willing to wager that everyone of us there has a soft spot for “Hey Lover” now, and, by extension, LL too.
I know how much he’s lingered in my own life; besides trying to recreate that moment myself with a girl in college (by crooning lines from “Momma Said Knock You Out”–didn’t work), and later, at my wedding reception, during the
Mother-Son dance, in the middle of “Rainbow Connection”, I caught Flash’s eye in the crowd and suddenly turned to the DJ and said, “Smurf this song; put on some LL Cool J” and–presto!–Mom and I slow-danced to “Doin’ It”. Worked too; my mom cried the whole time the song played.
Anyway, I mention all those moments because they were all about Saving Face; they were about retaining some semblance self, of dignity, of mother-son bonding.
And this is why LL’s face–literally and figuratively–has become so painful to look at. LL represents what’s gone wrong about the mainstream assimilation of hip-hop; I mean “Momma Said Knock You Out” used to be a manly growl, a predatory forwarning, an alert to someone that their ass was about to be handed to them in bite-sized pieces.
Now that song is comfortably sandwiched between Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Redneck Woman” on “Karaoke Night!” at the local Applebee’s.
LL got into that Hollywood coke and started doing movies like Halloween H20 (LL battles Mike Meyers!), Deep Blue Sea (LL battles smart sharks! SMART SHARKS!), Charlie’s Angels (LL battles the 2/3 of the Mug Carousel*!) and S.W.A.T. (LL battles another movie with Sam Jackson!).
And then, after perhaps indulging himself on too much smart-shark meat, the once-chiseled LL began looking more like Biggie Smalls.
So he–I don’t care what anyone says–got ribs removed.
And then–and I don’t care what anyone says–he got his face done.
And now? Now LL looks like something akin to one of the Neville Brothers after a fire accident.
I mean, I get it; how many times can you spend your hip-hop nights parked in a dark SUV with DMX listening to him talk about how “…on the real? Prison love was the only love that loved me back, dog. Only that. It’s where I got “Ruff Ryders” from, dog! ARF! ARF!” before thinking, “maybe carving my face to look like a Daffy’s store mannequin and hanging with Chris O’Donnell ain’t so bad.”
Still, LL’s lost a lot of face. I don’t care how much he’s gained since by reversing the clock. I don’t care that thanks to Hydroxy Cut, Red Bull and a scalpel he looks like a well-fed Allen Iverson (when he wears a Kangol).
I miss “Round the Way Girl”.
I miss “Head Sprung”.
Hell I even miss “Fatty Girl”.
Come back to us, LL–DMX needs you.
*more on the Mug Carousel later