LL Cool J wants legends to own more of hip hop.
There is no denying what LL Cool J has done for hip hop culture. His career marked the first time a solo rap artist was able to top the charts, and since then he has stayed at the top of his game through decades of hip hop evolution. Now he is expanding his most recent contribution by launching a Rock the Bells website dedicated to preserving and celebrating hip hop history. In addition to honoring classic MCs, break-dancers, DJs, and graffiti artists through this new endeavor, LL has also elected to provide some living legends with partial ownership of the project.
LL has already reached deals with Run-DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Eric B, Salt-N-Pepa, Roxanne Shante, Fab 5 Freddy, graffiti artist RISK, b-boy Crazy Legs, and photographer Jonathan Mannion to give back to these pioneers and offer some creative control of the Rock the Bells platform.
Speaking with HipHopDX about his decision, LL said, “The thought process is look, are you a pioneer or a founder? How much energy did you put into the culture? Did you contribute? Did you earn it? And I feel like the answer is yes to everybody that I’ve given ownership to. I feel like they really, really deserve it.”
LL says he plans to bring more artists into the organization in the near future. During the interview, he explained that his decision to financially include these big-name figures, all of whom helped to create the massive culture of hip hop around the world, is motivated by the many ways in which artists have been slighted by the music industry.
“I think that for so many years, it was always the mega-company, the trillionaire company, the zillionaire company capturing all of the value that was created by hip hop culture,” he said. “Why not let some of those pioneers actually capture value?” You can enjoy the new platform now at rockthebells.com.
A platform for US: I personally selected pioneers of our culture to join us & take ownership in this platform. The owners include-RUN DMC, Big Daddy Kane, Eric B, Salt N Pepa, Fab 5 Freddy, Risk, Crazy Legs, Jonathan Mannion & Roxanne Shante https://t.co/eGq7duqs75 @RockTheBells pic.twitter.com/IccvmwpVKY
— LLCOOLJ (@llcoolj) June 16, 2020