LL Cool J is one of the most legendary rappers of all time, and, during the 1980s, the rhymer (real name James Smith) was the face of Queens hip-hop. However, by the 2000s, the borough’s representative had become 50 Cent, but together, they are two of the most respected Queens MCs.
That said, in the late 1990s, when 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson) was under the wing of the iconic DJ Jam Master Jay, Smith saw talent in him and decided to record a collaborative album with him. Jackson’s large following had been acquired mostly through mixtapes, and LL thought it would benefit the young emcee to start working on an album.
Unfortunately, the ‘Rock The Bells’ artist shelved the entire project upon completion, and during an appearance on The Breakfast Club, LL explained why he decided not to release the body of work. Speaking with hosts Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy, Smith unveiled that while he enjoyed the experience, it didn’t quite feel like him, stating, “I just wanted to try something different..maybe we collaborate [or] write together, [but] it didn’t work.”
The ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ rhymer disclosed that although the project had everything needed for a good album, it didn’t feel like him. Speaking about the process of its creation, LL revealed, “I tried to do a more collaborative writing album. I did a whole album with 50 Cent, and we were writing together on this album!”
He continued, “It wasn’t me, so I didn’t put it out. It wasn’t nothing against Fifty. I love Fifty. But I Just wanted to try something different, and it didn’t work.” Although their unnamed joint project didn’t work out, that never stopped the two from collaborating.
In 2002, the G-Unit founder still lent a hand on LL’s 2002 hit ‘Paradise’ featuring Amerie by penning the vocalist’s chorus. They also collaborated on a 2007 single ‘Bump This’ which featured Jackson and his counterpart Lloyd Banks.
Both MCs have transitioned into acting and media production, with Jackson focusing on his series Power and Black Mafia Family (BMF) while Smith continues his regular role in NCIS. You can hear LL Cool J speaking about their collaborative album below.