LL Cool J reveals regret over “bad albums”
(Credit: Alamy)


LL Cool J reveals regret over "bad albums"

LL Cool J recently appeared alongside movie director Lena Waithe on LeBron James’ iconic podcast The Shop to talk about his bold and successful transition into Hollywood but also reflected on his legacy as a groundbreaking hip-hop musician.

However, during his conversation with the NBA star, LL Cool J, real name James Smith, claimed there are some historic projects of his that he now looks back on in disgust. During his conversation with LeBron, he labelled them “bad albums” and admitted he can relate to André 3000, who, last year, told GQ as a middle-aged man, he no longer has the same passion for rapping he did before.

Opening up about the hit-and-miss nature of his discography, Smith told LeBron, “I make bad albums, but I also have some smack, some crazy shit too. But I made bad shit, or shit that people didn’t respond to because that was where I was at.”

Waithe then interjected and said, “But at the time, you thought it was good!” However, LL admitted that, on occasion, he was hesitant about releasing his music and knew some bodies of work wouldn’t receive critical acclaim, stating, “Not always. I’m a little bit of a weirdo, B.”

He divulged, “Sometimes I make records in a vacuum just because it’s for me, and then sometimes I make albums for the culture. I’m very different in that regard, so you can’t really gauge my albums like that ’cause I don’t make all my records for the culture.”

LL Cool J revealed that in this regard, he agrees with André 3000 who highlighted how sometimes it is essential to make music that you want and not be forced to create albums that don’t reflect you or where you are on your musical journey, professing, “Maybe that’s what André was doing with the flute thing. I can understand it from that point of view. He just expressed it differently.”

André 3000 will likely be relieved by LL Cool J’s comments, as hip-hop seemed to be upset at the entirely instrumental New Blue Sun album. Many fans wanted a project that was for the culture. However, André admitted that he didn’t make the project fans wanted because that’s not where he currently is creatively, and this clearly resonated with LL. 

During an interview with CBS Mornings last year, the former Outkast member shared his thoughts on the polarising reactions to New Blue Sun. During the interview, he expressed that although he sympathised with people’s expectations, he didn’t want to release a contrived rap LP.

Explaining this Three Stacks stated, “Even on the artwork, it says, ‘No bars,’ so if you’re disappointed, man, I don’t know what else I could do! I don’t like that people are upset a little bit about it.”

Although LL Cool J admitted some of his albums were selfish creative experiments he knew would be received badly, he doesn’t hate all of the. You can hear him speaking on The Shop below.