LL Cool J‘s contributions to hip-hop and pop culture have earned him a key to his hometown of Hollis, Queens. The rapper received the honor at the first Rock the Bells concert on Saturday night.
“Hollis, Queens was represented today at @RockTheBells as the @NYCCouncil celebrated a true Queens legend, the one and only @llcoolj!” Speaker of the New York City Council Adrienne Adams tweeted afterward. “It was an honor to present him with a proclamation acknowledging his undeniable impact on Hip Hop and popular culture.”
LL rose to stardom in 1985 with his single “I Need a Beat,” but songs like “I’m Bad,” “I Need Love” and “Mama Said Knock You Out” catapulted him to another level of fame. As an artist and lover of hip-hop, he founded the Rock the Bells festival — named after his album of the same name — to honor the legends who paved the way in the genre.
“I feel like Hip Hop is indisposable,” LL said in a statement. “And I feel like, the same reverence and deference in the way Paul McCartney gets celebrated, the way Bob Dylan gets celebrated or Mick Jagger, I feel like these artists, these kings and queens, deserve that same treatment for this art form.”
This year’s show featured performances from Ice Cube, Jadakiss, Rick Ross, Lil’ Kim, Busta Rhymes and Scarface, as well as food from rapper-owned businesses, including Bun B‘s Trill Mealz Food Court and Trill Burgers, Nas’ Sweet Chick and Ghostface Killah’s Killah Koffee.
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