Despite not being too heavily involved on the music tip in recent times, LL Cool J’s contributions to what we know as Hip-Hop are pretty much undeniable, with the rap vet’s catalog placing him up there alongside words like icon and legend.
It seems that the Hip-Hop community isn’t the only collective appreciative of to the multi-talented powerhouse as he will become the first rapper to become a Kennedy Center Honors recipient this year.
“I am blown away. This is the biggest musical award you can receive,” LL, born James Todd Smith, told the Washington Post about the news. “To be recognized by your country, and to be able to represent hip-hop as an art form is amazing. I’m surprised, grateful, humbled and honored.”
This development is only the latest in the Kennedy Center’s acknowledgement of Hip-Hop culture after first naming Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Called Quest the artistic director of Hip-Hop Culture in 2016 and most recently appointing Simone Eccelston as the first director of Hip-Hop Culture earlier this year.
Set to take place on December 3rd, LL Cool J will be honored in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House along with fellow honorees that include the likes of Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, and dancer Carmen de Lavallade.