LL Cool J broke ground over 25 years ago when Arsenio Hall booked him as the first hip hop artist to appear on late-night TV, so the late-night host had to ask LL’s take on his favorite young rap artists performing today.
*LL Cool J is Harvard’s 2014 Artist of the Year, and will be honored at the annual Cultural Rhythms Festival on Feb. 22.
Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter made the announcement Wednesday, saying of the entertainer born James Todd Smith: “His pioneering contributions to a new genre of music and distinguished history of creativity have been lauded by young people around the world, and he is greatly admired for his excellent humanitarian efforts through the Jumpstart program,” an initiative that enhances early education programs in low-income neighborhoods.
In recent years, the Harvard Foundation has honored Shakira, Quincy Jones, Queen Latifah, Sharon Stone, Andy Garcia, Will Smith, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, and Denzel Washington.
*Just like the headline says, this page/board is where you can discuss the stuff that we didn’t cover in today’s issue. (It’s sort of like feedback with a twist) Remember, NO name calling, racial taunting, graphic sex talk and vulgarity in general, PLEASE.
EUR MOTIVATIONAL NOTE
When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. – Audre Lorde
Jan. 14: Blues singer Clarence Carter is 78. Singer-songwriter Allen Toussaint is 76. Actor Carl Weathers is 66. Rapper Slick Rick is 49. Rapper LL Cool J is 46.
Jan. 14, 1895: Blacks organized the National Steamboat Company in Washington, D.C. The company sailed a steamboat, the “George Leary,” between DC and Norfolk, Virginia.
*The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its annual list of nominees Wednesday morning and repeat contenders LL Cool J, N.W.A. and Chic have again made the cut.
It’s the eighth nomination for Chic since 2003, but comes as co-founder Nile Rodgers is enjoying widespread attention after his collaboration with Daft Punk earlier this year. LL Cool J returns to the list after absences of several years.
More than 600 voters will determine the final class of 2014. Inductees will be announced in December and a ceremony will be held next April in New York. The induction will be aired on HBO in May.
Other repeat nominees include KISS, Cat Stevens, Deep Purple, The Meters and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
First-time nominees include Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, YES and The Replacements.
Nirvana is nominated in its first year of eligibility. If selected for induction, the band would enter the hall of fame almost exactly 20 years after frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide at age 27.
Ronstadt receives her first nomination not long after she shared news that she has Parkinson’s disease.
Actually it shouldn’t come as a surprise ’cause Mr Carter and Mr. Smith haven’t seen eye to eye since back in the day when Jay-Z was president of Def Jam and LL was signed to the label as an artist. At the time, LL felt his album “Todd Smith” didn’t get the marketing and promotion that it deserved.
LL did an interview where he said, “I’m not anti-Jay-Z. I’m just pro-LL.”
Not one for holding his tongue, Uncle L has sent a shot or two in Hova’s direction as far as the so-called sales of his latest opus, “Magna Carta Holy Grail.”
In an interview with Revolt TV, LL Cool J weighed in Jay-Z’s deal with Samsung. He feels that getting a company to purchase a million records from you to give it away to the consumers isn’t the same as getting a million people to go out and buy your album.
“Numbers are Numbers. In the numbers is truth, but in terms of touching the people it’s a little different,” LL said.
“For me as an artist I still want to be able to touch the people individually. It still matters to me that people individually went out and bought my record,” the “NCIS: Los Angeles” star and rapper went on to say. “Although I still think a million sold is a million sold, for me I like to know that a million PEOPLE bought my record, not a company bought a million copies of my record.”
Hmm, LL’s got a legitimate point, but we can’t help but wonder what his position would be if he was jay-Z’s shoes.
After he rocked the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Cool J always one to be modest remarked to reporters, “It’s been years since lots of these people have seen me perform. It’s always fun to share the gift and to share the talent. ”
He’s been starring on the hit TV drama “NCIS: Los Angeles” since 2009 but he gets a thrill being back on stage and rapping: “It’s a thrill being on stage because it’s what I love to do.”
Jill Scott showed off not only her unique soulful sound at the Festival but also her special sense of style – something she can truly sink her teeth into.
“I actually have a bottom of diamonds,” Scott says when talking about teeth in the front of her mouth.
There’s more than music at the Essence Festival. At the Ernest Morial Convention Center hundreds of vendors are providing scores of gifts and valuable information to consumers. Ford is among them – giving test drives of its hot cars, including the Fusion.
On Saturday, McDonald’s s 365Black Awards will be given to legendary singer Gladys Knight and supermodel Beverly Johnson, among others. The awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community.
The Festival concludes on Sunday, July 7 with Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe and supergroup TGT (Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank,) among others.
See comments from LL Cool J and Jill Scott in this video: