A criminal picked the wrong rap legend to mess with!

LL Cool J was the victim of a burglary by a transient who broke into his home in the early hours of Wednesday (Aug. 22) morning. LL, born James Todd Smith, was forced to defend his hearth and engaged in a violent confrontation with the man.

As a result of his transgressions, the perpetrator, Jonathan Kirby, was charged with residential burglary with a person present. That, combined with his criminal history, means he faces a whopping 38 years in prison.

Kirby has a rap sheet littered with thefts, fights and drug charges in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He was sentenced to five years in the clink in the ’90s after committing a burglary, as well as another three for petty theft in 2005. He may be responsible for other local break ins in recent weeks.

According to The L.A. Times, Kirby, 56, is facing his third strike for a serious or violent felony, which is why his possible prison time is so steep.

Adding insult to injury, Kirby, a native of Texas, sustained a broken nose, jaw and ribs, courtesy of LL. The rapper/actor is not facing any criminal charges from law enforcement officials because they say he was acting in self-defense. Perhaps he used some of his ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ training to take down the real life perp?

LL was apparently upstairs in his home when he heard noises in the kitchen. He went to investigate, and that’s when Kirby came at him. They scuffled in what the cops called a “brawl.” Damn, LL throws down. Mama said knock you out… literally!

LL was not injured in the fracas, but said that he acted in physical fashion to protect his family. Can’t say we blame him.

Watch the LL Cool J ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ Video