LL Cool J with DJ Z-Trip
Sunday, June 1, 2014
2014 Toshiba Stage
As one of the few commercially viable artists one can truly call a veteran, LL has come a long way from his origins in St. Albans, Queens. From his early days of rapping in front of the mirror in his bedroom while The Sugar Hill Gang boomed from his radio, LL has always been determined to be a winner in the game. "I sent my demo to many different companies, but it was Def Jam where I found my home," says LL. At 33-years old, LL Cool J has received two Grammy Awards, penned his autobiography I Make My Own Rules and is the first rap artist to amass six consecutive platinum-plus selling albums and six gold singles.
While over the years LL has worked with a wide array of producers including Rick Rubin, Marley Marl and Puffy, he says, "Part of working with great producers, whether it's Trackmasters or The Neptunes, is finding people who can help me execute my vision as an artist." Spending two weeks in the studio with The Neptunes at their Virginia Beach compound, LL recalls, "Its always fun to work with people who are energetic and enthusiastic about their work. I was supposed to work with The Neptunes a few years ago, but because of time, it didn't fall in place. Maybe it just wasn't the time, but for 10 we made it work."
Although LL is constantly writing rhymes in various notebooks, he confesses, "I do most of writing for record in the studio. I like being in the moment, writing in the zone as the beat bangs in my ears. From there, I just let the words fall where they fall."
As LL Cool J proclaimed on his last release, The G.O.A.T. he is still the Greatest of All Time. "As an artist, I feel I am constantly growing. It's not about money or power anymore. There's just a special feeling you get when you complete a project and present it to the world." With the release of 10, one is sure the world will still embrace the powers and prowess of LL Cool J.