LL Cool J is a golden-age hip-hop artist who is highly respected, and despite his transition into the realm of acting, the Queens emcee (real name James Smith) still has his ears to the ground regarding the culture. That said, he is usually one of the first to respond to any type of disrespect aimed at him or acts from his generation, and he did precisely this when radio personality and podcast DJ Akademiks decided to label 1980s rappers as “dusty.”
DJ Akademiks (real name Livingston Allen) is known for stirring up controversy on the net and pulls no punches when it comes to his opinions concerning the state of rap music.
Regardless of whether there may be repercussions, Allen has said an awful lot over the years. However, even he wasn’t expecting LL Cool J to weigh in on his comments. Following Akademiks’ rant about 1980s acts and their irrelevance on the video streaming platform Twitch, LL took to Instagram to put Allen in his place. In a long video, the ‘Rock The Bells’ musician aggressively stated, “A DJ basically said that a lot of the pioneers in hip-hop, they’re dusty or how can they be the person that invented hip-hop if they don’t have a lot of money, or if they don’t represent like they have a lot of dough.”
He angrily continued, “Let me explain something to you and say this of you guys: Don’t think just because somebody knows how to get money—or fails to get money—that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture. No one discusses Miles Davis’ bank account,” LL Cool J continued. “We don’t talk about John Coltrane’s bank account. We don’t talk about a lot of even rock musicians … a lot of great country artists, we don’t talk about their bank accounts. This idea that you have to have money or else you don’t have any value is a bad idea, and it’s a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture.”
Smith finalised by telling fans and new-generation artists alike, “Just because they didn’t get rich, just because they weren’t able to pile up millions or billions of dollars, does not mean that they didn’t make a contribution to this culture. They created an industry that we all ate off of. They created an industry that you eat off of. Think before you speak!” Smith’s fiery passion was palpable. Moreover, it was understandable, considering Allen’s flagrant disregard for hip-hop’s forefathers.
In an overtly ignorant and disrespectful manner, during a recent late-night Twitch stream Akademiks announced, “Them old rappers, man. Have you seen any of these old rappers who be like, yo, they’re the foundation of hip-hop really living good? Them n*ggas be looking really dusty, I kid you not. And none of y’all try to come for me ’cause I don’t f*ck with y’all n*ggas either, so I’m just telling y’all the truth.” Allen added, “Every time there be like an old, old n*ggas talking about hip-hop, you be like, ‘Yo, bro. You sure you invented this? ‘Cause everybody else is looking better than you.’ Facts.”
Smith’s disdain for DJ Akademiks is still present and tension between the two has not ceased. You can watch LL’s response to DJ Akademiks in the video below.