LL Cool J’s hat may be akin to a shark’s fin, but the rapper’s aquatic skills were seemingly lacking during the filming of Deep Blue Sea; he nearly drowned while performing a stunt. During the 55-year-old’s appearance on Hot Ones, LL recalled an instance where a crew member’s brief disappearance to grab food to eat led to him almost taking a deadly plunge.
“I was in the middle of a take and [they called] ‘Lunch!’ and the guy holding the little [shark] joystick goes,” he said. “They just bailed on me.” However, the Queens native, who played the role of cook Sherman “Preacher” Dudley in the 1999 blockbuster, was ultimately able to survive by climbing to safety after receiving assistance.
“They said ‘Oh!’ and gave me this little breathing apparatus, like something you blow out and then breathe in,” he added. “I blow out, I breathe in, all water! Took it to another level. But I ended up struggling and getting out, I climbed out, and there was one dude sitting there with a cigarette, like, ‘I saw what happened.’ So, it was cool.”
The rapper’s performance in Deep Blue Sea would continue his trajectory as a bonafide movie star. The film grossed $165 million at the box office and led to his being cast for subsequent leading roles. He also contributed two songs to the Deep Blue Sea soundtrack, including “Say What” and “Deepest Bluest (Shark’s Fin),” with the latter released as a lone single.
2023 has already been an eventful year for LL, as he recently led the Hip-Hop 50 tribute performance at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards earlier this month. In addition, the rapper has increased anticipation for his forthcoming studio album, which will be executive produced by Q-Tip, after teasing that the project would be shelved due to his dissatisfaction with the material already recorded.
“I’m just not feeling this album is worthy of release,” he wrote in a string of tweets that have since been deleted. “Not dropping it.”
LL would later assuage concerns surrounding the album by alluding to his plan to move forward with its release. “Everybody’s been asking me about the new record and my decision,” he said in an additional post on Instagram. “I was considering not putting the record out because … IT’S TOO F**KING GOOD!”
The Hip-Hop veteran shouted out the A Tribe Called Quest member for contributing to the album’s creation, calling it his most beloved body of work. “Q-Tip, you a genius baby, this is my favorite album I ever made. I can’t wait for you to hear this. Date, track listing coming soon.”
LL Cool J’s forthcoming album will be the 14th of the legend’s career and will be released on Def Jam Records.