LL Cool J Will Become Kennedy Center’s First Hip-Hop Honoree:
LL Cool J will be hip-hop’s first.
According to NPR, LL Cool J will be the first hip-hop artist to receive the Kennedy Center Honors, with his name included in a crowded 2017 class that includes the likes of Gloria Estefan and TV icon Norman Lear. Born James Todd Smith, LL was arguably rap’s first sex symbol and made his first record, “I Need a Beat,” when he was just 16 years old.
Now best known for his roles in TV and film, LL Cool J received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star last year. He’s also set to become the youngest man ever to receive the Kennedy Center Honors at 49 years of age. The ceremony will take place in Washington, D.C. on December 3rd.