LL Cool J on why the most important rappers don’t have a lot of money
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LL Cool J on why the most important rappers don't have a lot of money

Hip-hop icon LL Cool J is a symbol of the 1980s and was in New York to witness hip-hop’s humble beginnings. Furthermore, he knows the figures that helped cultivate what is now a billion-dollar business.

However, in response to the divisive radio personality, DJ Akademiks calling older hip-hop artists “dusty”, LL (real name James Smith) took to social media to enlighten the young DJ why some of the most integral figures concerning rap music aren’t multi-millionaires.

Taking to Instagram to broadcast a live stream, LL started the video by encouraging viewers to record it, stressing the message’s importance. The Queens lyricist then proceeded to lecture Akademiks and the likes.

Smith declared, “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!”

Smith then explained how when artists such as Kurtis Blow and Keef Cowboy emerged in the late-1970s, there was no money to be made from hip-hop as it was an underground culture that had not blossomed, stating, “Don’t think because someone failed to get money that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture. No one discusses Miles Davis’ bank account, or John Coltrane, or even rock and country musicians.”

Smith continued and insisted that wealth doesn’t equate to value in hip-hop, professing, “It’s a bad idea and a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture. 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.”

After the nearly seven-minute rant, LL Cool J influencers to think before they speak as they often have no idea about the history of hip-hop. You can watch LL’s Instagram video below.