LL Cool J Made History As the Kennedy Center's 1 Hip Hop Honoree
Washington, DC – LL Cool J made history on 3 December, when it became the first Hip Hop artist to be honored during the Kennedy Center Honors. The 40th annual event, which aired on Tuesday night (December 26) and was a colorful tribute to the Radio legend who became an actor.
With DJ Z-Trip behind the dishes, Busta Rhymes burst onto the stage dressed in a red bucket hat and red tracksuit to perform LL's 1990 hit "Mama Said Knock you Out" with peers in Flatbush, Brooklyn native Spliff Star stopped to talk to the crowd.
Then, MC Lyte he grabbed the mic to rap 1987 "I'm Bad" before The Roots' Black Thought kicked his version of 1989 "You can Get Rougher." Finally, Darryl "DMC" McDaniels of Run-DMC closed the mix with a rendition of 1985's "Rock The Bells".
Spoiler alert: tonight's #KCHonors tribute to @llcoolj beat. Tune in at 9/8c on @cbstv & CBS All Access!
A post shared by The Kennedy Center (@kennedycenter) December 26, 2017, at 8:43am PST
Ahead of the animated musical tribute, Queen Latifah introduced Ladies Love Cool James with a brief history of his life and Questlove, gave a speech about the LL's impact, not only him but also all of Hip Hop.
A time of preparation in the backstage @Questlove before a Hip Hop storm. #KCHonors 📸 Scott Suchman
A post shared by The Kennedy Center (@kennedycenter) December 26, 2017, at 6:58pm PST
The Queens center was honored along with an elite group of cultural icons, including singer Gloria Estefan, the dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, a TV writer Norman Lear and singer Lionel Richie.
LL later took to Twitter to express his gratitude for the momentous honor.
"I want to personally thank each and every one of you !!," he wrote. "You bought the songs that attended the concerts!! You call the radio stations!! "You" inspired me!!! You've been with me all the time. I love #HIPHOP!! 'WE' MADE HISTORY!!! #KCHonors."
I want to personally thank each and e