With a prolific career spanning almost 40 years, LL COOL J has long solidified himself as an absolute pioneer of hip-hop music. Recognized as rap’s first megastar, LL would become the blueprint for the modern emcee for his effortless wit, infectious lyrics, and glowing charisma.
On Saturday (October 30), LL COOL J was honored with the Musical Excellence Award at the 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Fellow rap titan, Dr. Dre, did the honors of inducting the Queens emcee, validating the rapper’s legacy and greatness with a bit of humor.
“What LL actually stand for? Ladies love? Living large? Licking lips?” Dre asked. “I’m here because I personally think it stands for Living Legend.”
“LL’s longevity is unparalleled in hip hop,” Dre said. “[He’s] the rare artist loved by you, your mom and all of your kids all at once.”
LL took the stage for a spirited performance, rocking the crowd with a medley of some of his biggest hits with the help of special guests Eminem and Jennifer Lopez.
The emcee kicked off his set with his 1987 single, “Rock Around the Clock,” channeling the same hunger and passion that propelled the emcee into stardom in the early ‘80s. Fans were also blessed with a surprise duet between LL and Eminem for his iconic single and our namesake, “Rock the Bells.”
J. Lo would also surprise fans as she joined the emcee for their 2003 No. 1 single “All I Have.” LL COOL J then closed the show with a fiery performance of his classic “Mama Said Knock You Out.” LL absolutely tore the roof off the joint, making for an iconic moment in not only hip-hop but music history.
Be sure to tune into HBO’s original special of the 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, available to stream on November 20.