By Jay Quan
Hip-Hop legend LL COOL J took to his IG Live last night (9/21) to address a statement by DJ Akademiks who referred to Hip-Hop pioneers as “dusty,” though he never acknowledged him by name, choosing instead to make a broader point about the artform and culture. LL started the video by encouraging viewers to record it, stressing the message’s importance.
“It came to my attention that a DJ said that a lot of the pioneers in Hip-Hop are dusty and asked how could they be the people that invented Hip-Hop if they don’t present like they have a lot of money,” he said.
He then explained that the pioneers of Hip-Hop, specifically the first generation, created something where there was once nothing at all. “Don’t think because someone failed to get money that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture,” he said. “No one discusses Miles Davis’ bank account, or John Coltrane, or even rock and country musicians.”
When Hip-Hop first started there were no accountants or record companies who believed in it. Nobody believed in it.
– LL COOL J
LL then rejects the idea that possessing wealth equates to value in Hip-Hop culture. “It’s a bad idea and a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture,” he explained. “I embrace the young artists and I believe in you — every generation. Today you can come up with your five, 10, and 20-year plans and go find a manager or accountant and a team to help your career go to the next level. When Hip-Hop first started, there were no accountants or record companies who believed in it. Nobody believed in it. How can you make a five or 10-year plan out of something that doesn’t even exist yet?”
He doubled down the idea that the bricklayers from Hip-Hop’s early days made it possible for everyone to monetize brands and make deals today. He ends the nearly seven-minute video by encouraging influencers to think before they speak.
See his statement above.