LL Cool J To Be First Hip-Hop Honoree At Kennedy Center

Ladies love LL, but apparently so does the Kennedy Center. The 2017 Kennedy Center gala honorees were reportedly announced on Thursday (Aug. 3), and LL Cool J made the list. The latest honor means that the rapper will be the first hip-hop artist to ever receive an award at the prestigious center in all of its 46-year history.

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LL, whose real name is James Todd Smith, will reportedly be celebrated for his “talent and ingenuity,” Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein said in a statement. “Landmark hip-hop artist LL Cool J taught the world how to rhyme as one of the pioneers of the hip-hop phenomenon,” Rubenstein said.

Following the happy news, the “I Need Love” rapper hopped on social media to express his gratitude for the incredible honor.  “To be the first rap artist honored by the @KennedyCenter is beyond anything I could have imagined,” he wrote in a post on Instagram. “I dedicate this honor to the hip-hop artists who came before me and those who came after me. This simply proves that dreams don’t have deadlines.”  The rapper also mentioned his late grandmother who offered up some words of advice during the early stages of his career: “if a task is once begun, never leave it ‘til it’s done. Be thy labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”

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LL Cool J has endured a lengthy and impressive career in music and the Hollywood  industry. From winning Grammy’s to starring in major feature films, and hosting a number of TV and awards shows, LL has pretty much done it all.

The Kennedy Center’s awards gala will reportedly air on CBS on Dec. 26.