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LL COOL J: "Don't Think Because Someone Failed to Get Money They Didn't Contribute to the Culture"

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Hip-Hop legend LL COOL J took to his IG Live last night (9/21) to address a statement by DJ Akademiks who referred to Hip-Hop pioneers as "dusty," though he never acknowledged him by name, choosing instead to make a broader point about the artform and culture. LL started the video by encouraging viewers to record it, stressing the message's importance.

"It came to my attention that a DJ said that a lot of the pioneers in Hip-Hop are dusty and asked how could they be the people that invented Hip-Hop if they don't present like they have a lot of money," he said.

He then explained that the pioneers of Hip-Hop, specifically the first generation, created something where there was once nothing at all. "Don't think because someone failed to get money that they didn't make a contribution to the culture," he said. "No one discusses Miles Davis' bank account, or John Coltrane, or even rock and country musicians."

LL then rejects the idea that possessing wealth equates to value in Hip-Hop culture. "It's a bad idea and a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture," he explained. "I embrace the young artists and I believe in you — every generation. Today you can come up with your five, 10, and 20-year plans and go find a manager or accountant and a team to help your career go to the next level. When Hip-Hop first started, there were no accountants or record companies who believed in it. Nobody believed in it. How can you make a five or 10-year plan out of something that doesn't even exist yet?"

He doubled down the idea that the bricklayers from Hip-Hop's early days made it possible for everyone to monetize brands and make deals today. He ends the nearly seven-minute video by encouraging influencers to think before they speak.

See his statement above.