LL Cool J poses backstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 30, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

LL COOL J: "There's Just a Certain Energy and Vibe Queens Artists Have"

LL COOL J: "There's Just a Certain Energy and Vibe Queens Artists Have"

Published Thu, September 29, 2022 at 3:54 PM EDT

LL COOL J is undoubtedly one of the rappers who put Queens, NY on the rap, beginning with his 1985 debut album, Radio.

The rap legend recently shared his fondest memories of his hometown. "For me, the bottom line is Queens is special to me because it's the essence," he explained in an interview with Rock The Bells radio. "Born in Long Island, born in Bay Shore — raised in Queens. Queens is just where I formed a lot of my opinions and my whole state of mind."

He then spoke about his life before traveling outside of his beloved borough. "Before I traveled uptown and got exposed to other parts of the city, it was Queens that shaped and molded how I looked at the world. It was always a really interesting place. Some places looked like paradise and other times it would look like hell, but I love it just the same."

LL COOL J - Mama Said Knock You Out LL COOL J - Mama Said Knock You Out

He talked specifically about the energy Queens artists possess.

"There is just a certain energy and vibe that Queens artists have, the way that they approach the music and the culture," he said. "We rep it well. All of New York reps very well for what they do, but Queens for me is the epicenter."

He also spoke about his youth and recalled when rap records started to circulate, driving home how much his hometown played a role in his love for Hip-Hop. "I would go up to Record Explosion and get all types of vinyl on Jamaica Ave," he recalled. "That was a big deal for us. We would go up to the coliseum and get mixtapes, blend tapes and all that."

Beyond sharing his love for Queens, LL recently performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Along with DJ Z-Trip, the Hip-Hop icon ran through a slew of his hits including "Rock The Bells," "Jack the Ripper," "HeadSprung," "Jingling Baby," "Doin It" and more. No stranger to iHeart, the legendary rapper/actor also hosted the iHeartRadio Music Awards earlier this year. Of course, this isn't the first festival LL has rocked the year. He also headlined at his Rock The Bell Festival back in August, which featured a bevy of performances from rap legends including Scarface, Onyx, Lil Kim, Ice Cube, and many more.

If you missed the action at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, the CW will air a two-night television special on October 7th and October 8th from 8 pm-10 pm ET.

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