Hip-Hop pioneer LL Cool J recently shared his views on New York rappers’ lack of dominance as compared to emerging Southern and West Coast emcees.
While not naming any emcees, LL broke down how his views on the Big Apple’s role in music today.
“From a hip-hop stand point, the difference in vibe between New York back then and New York now, I think the difference is that New York was setting the tone and kinda setting all of the musical trends at that time,” LL said in an interview. “When we first came out with hip-hop after [Grandmaster] Flash and them came in and smash the locks and Run[DMC] and them kicked the door in. All the rest of us kinda ran in right behind Run and them. We were setting the tone in terms of clothing, in terms of slang, in terms of musical styles. We were doing 808’s…kids that are growing up in hip-hop today think that the 808’s is a Southern sound, not realizing that my whole first album was 808’s. Not that that matters, but it just shows you how things change and evolve…We were in the lead, creatively and I don’t know if New York is in the lead, musically, anymore.” (Global Grind)
Jadakiss recently spoke on New York’s past absence of lyricism.
“New York took a hit when everybody started getting money,” Kiss said in an interview. “Everybody was doing alright in record sales. Everybody had some success but then the ego started playing a part. From then, nobody wanted to do songs with each other. N*ggas were on some, ‘I’m not f*cking with that n*gga. I’m not doing that!’ That hurt everybody in a whole and everybody stopped dropping albums. Then wherever, the South, the West came, linked up, and collected that money for certain amont of years. I just feel like this is going to give everybody some sense of inspiration to come. you got Fab[olous] coming. You got more north artists that’s gon’ come back. you know Red [Cafe] is doing his thing. Maino is doing his thing. This gon’ give everybody motivation to put music out, so then, nobody has to sit down and complain.” (Hip Hop Game)
Showing New York rappers are still capable of selling records, Jada’s Last Kiss debuted at No. 3 on the charts earlier this year.
“I ain’t know what to expect now with the way the game is,” Kiss said in an interview. “But I know I got a core fanbase. I don’t think Def Jam expected that, so now we gotta get on the same page. I will say that’s a great number for the climate and the way the music industry is right now and that’s without a big hit at radio…I got longevity, that’s why I got legs…It’s always good when you can say I told you so. It’s always good when you get the last laugh. But I’m just happy to be embraced after all these years, ’cause hip-hop fans’ ears change hourly. I’ma be here for a while.” (XXL Mag)
Aside from music, LL was recently tagged to star in a new television drama.
LL will play a tough but charming former Navy SEAL who works undercover for the NCIS unit in Los Angeles, California and is an expert on the Middle East. “NCIS” showrunner Shane Brennan created the untitled spinoff and exec produces for CBS Paramount Network TV. The pilot for an offshoot from the hit police procedural series will air as an episode of “NCIS” this spring, just as the pilot for “NCIS” aired as an episode of “JAG.” (Variety)
Check out LL’s interview below: