When it comes to the troubled lives of Chris Brown and Justin Bieber, rapper LL Cool J said he’s not going to judge the singers too harshly.
“I’m a little more lenient on them in my judgment because I’ve been there, done that, but you gotta give people an opportunity to grow,” LL told TheGrio.com.
Like Chris and Justin, LL was a minor when he first hit the music scene in the ‘80s. While crime, drug use and other obstacles derailed many young stars’ careers and lives, LL was able to stay on course and has parlayed his success into an acting career.
In contrast, Chris and Justin have spent almost as much time as tabloid fodder for their sometimes-questionable behavior and run-ins with the law as they have for their music.
LL said that’s just a sign that the young men have some more maturing to do.
“That’s about maturity. Sometimes when you’re a young kind with a lot of money and bunch of crazy friends around you, things happen. It takes a while to become a man and there really is a difference between a man and boy and it’s not just physical,” LL explained. “It takes time to become a man.”
While LL acknowledges that fans may hold young stars to a higher standard, in part, because of their wealth, he clarified that money doesn’t make anyone an adult.
“You can’t expect a 19, 20-year-old with $20 million to be a man just because they have money. Money does not make you a man. You’ll just be a rich boy,” he said.
LL talks “NCIS” and his onstage persona below. Watch.