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Social Media Defends LL Cool J After He’s Labeled the ‘Forefather of Pop Rap’

Fans tend to give artists distinctive titles based on the areas in which they excel. Michael Jackson was deemed the King of Pop because of the number of musical records he broke, his album sales and overall popularity. The same applied to the late Aretha Franklin, who was revered worldwide as the Queen of Soul.

It’s usually an honor to reign supreme in a particular musical genre. Still, rapper LL Cool J doesn’t agree after learning that social media deemed him the forefather of pop rap. The world was introduced to the Queens, New York, native in the early ’80s with hit songs such as “Mama Said Knock You Out” and “I’m Bad.” Before Drake’s melodic rap flow, there was LL, whose real name is James Todd Smith, singing about sitting alone in his room listening to the words of conscience telling him he needs love.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 19: LL COOL J attends as Roger Gastman and LL COOL J host BEYOND THE STREETS opening night at 25 Kent on June 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for BEYOND THE STREETS)

Still, LL remained confused by his title and recently took to his Twitter account seeking some clarification. “Me being called the forefather of pop rap is very confusing,” the 53-year-old wrote. “What the f–k are you talking about ?? LOL.”

Fans of the “NCIS: Los Angeles” star responded, hoping they could rectify the situation, with many reminding the rapper of his discography and how some of those songs might have earned him the title. One user commented, “Popular Raps, Yes.. I Need Love, I’m Bad, Rock the Bell, I’m going back to Cali, Doing it. Yes it was Popular Raps because it was just RAP.” They added, “Wasnt gangster, mafioso, trap or street introvert. If was just popular.”  

Another person jokingly quoted LL’s single “I Need Love” writing, “Probably home in their rooms, staring at the wall. In the back of their minds they maybe heard their conscience call. Just spitballing. 4321 reasons why they are wrong.”

Yet, some agreed that LL wasn’t getting the credit he deserved. Fans expressed that his career shouldn’t be defined under just pop rap, including one user who wrote, “Only someone who chooses to be willfully ignorant of the culture and its history would even dare say something like that.” That person added, “Spectacular vernacular miraculous raw shyt scooped off the concrete make a hit. That’s pop-rap? Fuggedaboutit.” 

“You’re a pioneer of rap and hip hop culture!!!! Whoever said that has NOT listened to your records!!!” expressed another. 

“I aint wit that Unc,” commented a fifth person. “Hip Hop innovator. Its not a crime or a strike against u for reaching over to get some other money…. In my opinion, that doesnt diminish what u did to pioneer Hip Hop.”

Regardless what some may say, LL has mastered the art of longevity. He is arguably one of the first rappers to successfully cross over from the music industry to create an illustrious acting career. 

 

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