Now we know why LL Cool J started bleaching his skin. The retired rapper was a swarthy sex symbol in the 1980s and '90s. The ladies couldn't get enough of his sexy lips.

LL was in Midtown NYC on Monday when he was asked if his famous lips ever got him a deal with Chapstick.

"No, they hated my black lips back then." said LL Cool J. His name is an acronym that stands for "Ladies Love Cool J."

The former rapper-turned-actor apparently took Chapstick's rejection to heart.

There are reports that the NCIS: LA star began bleaching his skin as he approached middle age in his late 30s. LL appears to be 5 shades lighter now than he did in photos when he was at his peak as a rap superstar in the 1980s and '90s.

The Blast reports that LL was also asked if he planned to record another rap album. The 51-year-old father-of-four replied, "yeah, I'm gonna do another album."

No photo

The New York native has released 13 studio albums and two greatest hits compilations. He is best known for his biggest hit single, rap ballad "I Need Love", and hits "Radio" and "Luv U Better."

Photos by John Wolfsohn/Getty Images, Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

  • 9 Mind

    Lips dark from lipping em all damn day!!!

    https://media1.giphy.com/media/bIAFp0jtxR8hW/giphy.gif

  • Dowoop

    ?

  • Coy little wink

    Idk bout his bleaching but I do know his Sirius station rock the bells is ? ? ?

  • Carrington

    Weird confession; all the years I've been around, I just realized that LL and Ice Cube were "light skin-ded" about a year ago. I Never knew that LL was light light. I always thought he was medium to dark brown. I met Cube in the VIP at my dad's club once and STILL didn't notice. I guess because it was dark.

  • NewNew

    One of my favorite stations

  • A.P. Millz-CT

    LL does not bleach his skin, Sandra oh, come'on... LOL

    ThaT man still can get it tho

  • NewNew

    Slow news/gossip day

  • Nita Pie

    WOW! He still wants to make an album after headsprung? LOL

  • teather

    Slooooooooow day. Really, Auntie????? Mid life at late 30s? That's beyond ridiculous.

  • Alextra Ballard

    Wdf!!

  • Alextra Ballard

    LordT....yew actually met Cube???

  • Michelle

    LMFAO!!!!!!!!!

  • WhoKnew

    Get the freak out of here. He couldn't get a chapstick deal because he had a Crisco lard deal. I know I'm not the only one that noticed all that Crisco he wore on his lips. Boy, BI.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    I dont find his lips to be dark at all. I wish he would have said something earlier. I'm kind of upset as much money as I've spent on Chapstick. Its ok tho, Carmex lip balm is their karma ?

  • Alextra Ballard

    LL still grindin....love him on CSI Los Angeles

  • Dahl

    Lordt!!!!

  • Coy little wink

    They caramel to me

  • Blaque Mahogany

    Lord, lip colorism. When will it end... https://media1.giphy.com/media/3oAt2dA6LxMkRrGc0g/giphy.gif

  • Dahl

    Still love LL ?

  • Alextra Ballard

    Lmao

  • Alextra Ballard

    His lips are far from being dark

  • JayBird

    LL has been the same complexion since he started so I don't believe that rumor HOWEVER, he did have some work done because he looks fake. What he needs to do is embrace is grown man status and grow his beard out. He looks fake and weird without one.

  • JayBird

    I don't think he meant it like that. His lips are too full.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    They should have just been real about it and said we are not looking for anyone of color to represent chapstick right now. I would have respected them for being honest

  • Guest©

    Right. I won't be going through any mid life crisis until at least 50, lol.

  • Maxx

    I had mine at 40 sooooo

  • Vonn

    I think he's talking about his lips being full, when he says black lips. He's never actually had black colored lips. Y'all know how crackers are, they hate what they don't have... then run out and try to imitate it.

  • Ghetto Real Name

    My first male rap crush. I still love him.

    Lana is my first female rap crush (MC Lyte). I still love her too. She looked so so good the other night on the BET Awards. Yes. She. Did.

    https://media1.giphy.com/media/3o6ozkQbdfOIyCC6wU/giphy.gif

  • Guest©

    Agreed but skin tone is subjective. I have dark skin friends who say Eve, Jill Scot and Erykah Badu are light skinned but they are brown to me.

  • Dre Clemons

    "LL bleaches his skin"

    Said no one ever.

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    I still don't see where the problem is with that. Even back then white men and women wanted full lips

  • Dr. P

    LL can still get ALL of me...whew!

  • Coy little wink

    I know it's subjective that's why I said to me...

  • CookieMobster
  • D-MoneyfromMaine

    Not to be a pedant...but the acronym LL Cool J stands for Ladies Love Cool James, as James is his first name.

  • Trace da Ace

    they hate our black skin..and black lips...but yet run to the nearest plastic surgeon to get our "lips" and will fry a tanning bed up to get our "skin"...smdh....

  • Dr. P

    MANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!

  • xxxgracious

    Everytime "Around the Way Girl" comes on I know he wrote that song for me ?

  • Raquel

    *giggles* That damn pic tho! lol

  • KcoolMuziq

    LL(whom I worked with on NCIS Los Angeles) has a BIG head.

  • Raquel

    But Chapstick is for LIPS...something white people lack, naturally. lol It's rare to see full lips on a white person and it not being injected with something.

  • Dasright

    Literally, or are you referring to arrogance?

  • TheWildChild

    ?he should've asked Carmex ?

  • ALLMINE?

    His skin has a grey tint to it..hmmmmmm. Clorox?

  • Allihave2say

    Log off friend. Go to the corner, nose in the crack and stay until tomorrow.
    https://media3.giphy.com/media/sR91D133W02D6/giphy.gif

  • Renee26

    They look pink to me... He's always been that color too. Caramel drippin in my bed, boy you know what's goin through my head ?

  • ALLMINE?

    Depending on when u die it could be your midlife ??

  • Alextra Ballard

    Chiiile them lips are still sexy

  • Allihave2say

    Just a plain old fashion, "No".

  • Allihave2say

    What is that creature?

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    Yeah ... That shaved bald face look is QUEEN TWINKISH... Grow a trimmed beard and let that gray COME THROUGH.. THE BODY IS SEXY... but a nucca in the gym and with clean shaven faces be GAYER THAN HAPPY!

  • bemetoo

    He’s always been honey ? colored... but the real question is... is LL packing a monster ? and of so is it shared between men and women???

  • Kimocha

    I think 5 shades lighter is taking it too far!... He is STILL the same color to me and still got the same pink lips he always had... F'ck chapstick!... Their loss!
    https://media0.giphy.com/media/E8QktSHIewFC8/giphy.gif

  • Coy little wink

    Both

  • justlooking
  • Renee26

    I'm talkin bout Sunday Monday Tuesday WednesdayThursday Friday Saturdaaay... 24/7

  • abby500

    Giggling Baby is the shhhhid

  • Applebootay

    Sandy, you've gone too far now...leave LL ALONE. He ain't bleached nothing and yes back in the day our African American (black lips) features were frown upon......but now...

  • Vonn

    Indeed.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    Ms Sandra, a whole 5 shades?????

  • Dowoop

    I see what you did there.... Which head?

  • hottlanta

    Doing it doing it and doing it well. Doing it doing it and doing it well. Yasssssssssss ??????

  • justlooking

    Are Male or female.

  • Ghetto Real Name

    He is best known for his biggest hit single, rap ballad "I Need Love", and hits "Radio" and "Luv U Better."
    ^^^^^^^^
    Ummm Around the Way Girl is hands down a known classic.

  • Applebootay

    You know she used black for color instead of ethnicity as it was referenced...poorly but he was using to describe culture not color...Sandra play too much

  • onelove

    that's my song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • onelove

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • onelove

    ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • xxxgracious

    ???
    Sad part is women be walking around thinking they checking them out and in fact they looking for the men too, boo ??

  • sunni_daze

    Going Back To Cali, was another.

  • MJF

    Seriously? Choops.

  • Kimocha

    You mean "Jiggling" Baby...lol

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Yes Maim! A Fendi bag and a bad attitude! lol

  • DeJeri

    ?????LL is looking like a snack

  • SpiceGirl

    Crazy thing is......They HATE our FULL lips.....but NOW.....RUNNNING to get them ejected to look like ours...smdh
    It's their lost James...No sweat!

  • Connie

    To be honest, I never thought his lips were all that. He just found a gimmick and ran with it and it became a thing....*shrugs*

  • Renee26

    True

  • Renee26

    Cube looks brown to me... His son OShea Jr is light light... They equally fine too ?

  • Renee26

    Looks like a hippo with eyes in the nostrils ?

  • justlooking

    I upvoted the GRAVI.

    LMAO

  • justlooking

    I decided to skip this old Drake as a gif.

    LMAO

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    He would look like Sammy Sosa...I dont believe it...I remember LL being brownskin my whole life...

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Omg I wanted him so bad when this video came out...

  • Sha

    You said that right, they use to call mine soup coolers. I thought LL looked the same.

  • Carrington

    And my daddy shamed the $HIT out of me when he was at the club. He took me into VIP and walked up to Cube, Luke (and I forget who else was with them) and gone say, "Hey fellas... I'm the owner... now, which one of you guys is Ice Cold?" Cube just fell out laughing.
    Naaaaaw, cuh. NAW!! LMAO

  • Connie

    Lana is my first female rap crush (MC Lyte). I still love her too. She looked so so good the other night on the BET Awards. Yes. She. Did.
    ^^^^^^^
    Thought about you when I seent huh on there. I thought to myself, Dubb must be lickin her tv scream right now...*giggles

  • Dr. P

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • The Chosen One

    He is sexy until he takes his hat off his head
    His head is rather fudded up. Similar to a peanut m&m.

  • Prince Zuko

    Shouts outs to Uncle L for holding it down for this long without putting on a dress

  • Guest©

    Ok, I'm being super literal about the age of my potential crisis because I plan on living to a nice old of of 100. I knew my great, great grandmother so the potential for longevity is there God willing.

  • Angelique Johnson

    I do love some LL
    but his face in the past years look like it been worked on. He just has been looking different to me.

  • Guest©

    Great, I just added to the convo?

  • Keyshia Ray

    Is that what it is bleaching? Because he does look different ?

  • http://www.pureromance.com LA

    Im weak???

  • Guest©

    You got all A's in school I bet, lol. Perfect analysis.

  • http://www.pureromance.com LA

    Lol

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    Baaaaby! That's a FACT! HUSBAND/BABY DADDY GOALS.... but honey might as well wish in one hand shyt a brick in the other You'll Come off with a full built high rise apartment building before they EEEVEN HUMP YOUR WAY!!! THEY INTO EACH OTHER AND LOYAL TO THEIR Peanut butter and fudge packing!

  • Parent

    Damn LL is sexy. Hope he's not bleaching.

  • Ghetto Real Name

    I was 11 years old when that song came out, and clearly recall how much I hated that video with all them damn white women in it dancing. Was the jam but is forever on time out with me bc of that lol.

  • Ghetto Real Name

    I wanted to. Damn bf woulda been mad mad. Was already lurstin after Method Man as it was lol.

  • RaginBee

    And you mean “Jingling” Baby lol

  • KLo

    I bet he can't eat a cookie. good gawd.

  • Kimocha

    Yep, you're right... It's Jingling Baby, lol!

  • SpillyNillie

    I spit out my water at this title...that's all...

  • Readytochokemothernature

    Whoo lawd ?

  • Logan Roberts

    I would lick Hershey chocolate off this ninja chest ?.

  • ZRoJoTheLezBeyond
  • Eileen

    I always liked his lips especially on that movie he did with Queen Latifa.
    His lips are nice and smooth

  • xxxgracious

    Lmfao!!!

  • dru and neil

    Botox maybe? I saw Mario Lopez in an interview and he looked so tightly tucked, couldn’t even move most of his face.

  • Michael Byrd

    L definitely did NOT bleach his skin! That is a lie. He looks just as light as he's always been. No need to go any lighter. People just be hatin

  • hottlanta

    Remember when he tried to go country b4 nas. Him n some country male artist made a song together bcas he said he wanted to cross over. It was a hot mess.

  • hottlanta

    Yasssss. He got sued when that song came out. One of the women from the weather girls sang that hook n in the video he had a small woman singing that hook using her voice. She said hell to the naw.

  • Will Wade

    They hatin... L always have been light skinned. Seen him a few times in concert especially the Nitro Tour in 1989 when he drove in with a car. Don't even trip L.

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Yassss! Push it good! Push it real good awwww Push it! lol They pissing me off how they treating Spinderella tho.

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Hell Yeaaaah! Go head babee! lol

  • MsChocCookie

    I don’t know about bleaching because L always leaned towards caramel light, but he definitely been messing with plastic surgery in his face....it’s been the obvious....

  • Jordan’s Memory

    I was kinda thinking the same thing, that's what happens when you bleach you get gray with dark purple-ish lips or something. idk I hope he not its not like he was dark skinned if the first place, he always passed the paper bag test. i.e. Charlemagne The God.

  • Myopinion

    It doesn't look like he's had bleaching but he's def had some surgery, a facelift or something

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    LOLOL!!!
    They pissing me off too! How dare they treat her like she didn't make history with them!

  • Tanya F Larkin

    Not cool at all! Really??? he's beautiful. And your comments are ugly.

  • Tanya F Larkin

    Exactly!??

  • Jordan’s Memory

    Right back then the DJ's was the machine behind the group. it was all about how good someone could mix or scratch so for them to act like she didn't contribute should be very insulting to her and us as her fans. Can you image if RUN DMC never had Jam Master Jay? They would not have gotten to level of success with out the entire package. Pepa n them need to stop with her lopsided fake ass! lol

  • Blak

    Huh? His lips have always been pink

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    LOL, EXACTLYYYYYY!!! Triffling stank asses

  • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

    LOL, EXACTLYYYYYY!!! Triffling stank asses

  • Allihave2say

    Awe! I see!

  • Vonda K

    He doesn’t look like he’s bleaching.
    He look great. He’s one of those men who benefit from a beard and mustache aka Method Man it just adds another level of handsomeness. My brother is the same way.

  • Alextra Ballard

    Yessss....that shidt neva gets old

  • Alextra Ballard

    I heard about that..smh

  • Alextra Ballard

    Lol

  • Applebum

    LL appears to be 5 shades lighter now than he did...
    ————————————

    Lies ???

  • Applebum

    Backseat of my Jeep ?
    Loungin - Who do you love? ?
    Doing it well ?

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    A whole 5 shades. ?

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    When was your last eye doctor appointment?

  • ??Dotty??

    He didn't have to do a damn thing!! If anything Chapstick fucking lost out on having a huge endorsement. NOW look. With Sephora out here, theres' 1 milion other competing brands way better than chapstick. Fuck them.

  • A.P. Millz-CT

    Really? ?? it’s been a min tho..

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    j/k ?

  • interestingconcept1

    Yeah, the headline is confusing...He was referring to the shape, thickness "big lips", Sandra connected that with the reason he bleached. *Kanye shrugged.

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    He didn't say big lips, he said "black lips."

  • interestingconcept1

    Forget about the bleach no one is going to call him out on his plastic face, skin looks like Stretch Armstrong

  • interestingconcept1

    Black as in "You got Black Folk lips-Full, thick, soup coolers.." No way he was referencing the color. His lips have always been pink.

  • ALLMINE?

    Charlamage doesnt look bleached tho. I don't think he used a cream. LL looks like a cream. Whoever helped charlamage did a header job. I do think he has a skin condition

  • ALLMINE?

    There's a shade of gray to his face. We not seeing shit.

  • ALLMINE?

    How is it hate? It's an observation ?.. his skin is grey

  • ALLMINE?

    Similar grey tint to both of their faces. Sosa is just extreme

  • The Chosen One

    Like I said, sexy until the hat comes off.

  • chan chan

    ???

  • http://www.findyournichewithme.com Low E. 30BELOW

    His name is an acronym that stands for "Ladies Love Cool J."
    -
    I THOUGHT IT WAS "COOL JAMES"...SOMEBODY TOLD ME WRONG!

  • Toni Toni Toni

    Pwahaha. DEAD!!!

  • LLC

    mannn that nelly completion was fire. Wish he would tan back to that complexion.

  • LLC

    mannn that nelly completion was fire. Wish he would tan back to that complexion.

  • sunni_daze

    I honestly forgot about the video. You are so right.

  • sjames

    OK lmao the same color when he stepped on the scene