One of Hip-Hop’s biggest stars of all time, LL Cool J, pulled up on Kevin Hart’s Gold Minds podcast to reflect on his career and the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop. During his conversation, LL reveals what drew him to music.

“I started writing rhymes at 11, 12 years old. I started writing my own rhymes. Why was I attracted to it? Because I had never heard young, black men sound powerful before. Every time I saw black men on TV, they were like being handcuffed and being put in a police car. Or it was a bad story. Or they were somebody that I couldn’t relate to that was way far away somewhere. But these guys were right there where I was from. And they were dreaming big… back then, it was a dream and that bragging and that macho stick your chest out pride was really about ‘I want to be somebody, I want to be heard, I don’t want to be invisible.’ To a certain extent, it was overcompensation for what wasn’t happening for us in the community… it made me feel like it was possible to make it. I was inspired. And that’s why I love it so much and why I still do it.”

– LL Cool J

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You can hear the full episode below.