All Essentials: LL Cool J Stays ‘Authentic’

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LL Cool J

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At this year’s GRAMMY Awards, LL Cool J told the audience, “By day, I do a little hosting” — he was, in fact, wrapping up his first stint as GRAMMY host — “and I do a little acting.” “At night,” he continued, “I do a little rapping.”

With that, he launched into an explosive new song, “Whaddup,” with the help of Chuck D of Public Enemy, Travis Barker of Blink-182, DJ Z-Trip and Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine. It was a sign of things to come from LL.

In our Essentials profile (below), Vibe Editor-In-Chief Jermaine Hall, music journalist Alan Light and‘s own Erik Parker discuss LL’s legacy and future, as the MC launches his new album, Authentic. LL, of course, also sounds off.


Authentic, due out April 30, sees LL collaborating with legends and A-listers including Eddie Van Halen, Seal, Brad Paisley and Boosty Collins, along with the above cast on “Whaddup.” On May 23, the Kings Of The Mic Tour, headlined by LL and featuring Public Enemy, Ice Cube and De La Soul, kicks off in Tucson, Arizona.

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