LL Cool J will become the Kennedy Center’s first hip-hop honoree in its 40-year history. On December 3rd he will be inducted along with Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, television mogul luminary Norman Lear and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade. The center is developing a relationship with hip-hop that started has included Q-Tip becoming the artistic director of hip-hop culture in 2016. LL released a statement regarding the honor,
“My late grandmother passed some wise advice to me: ‘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.’ That adage has guided everything I have ever done in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful because it has led me here,” he says. “To be the first rap artist honored by the Kennedy Center is beyond anything I could have imagined. 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. God is great.”
The 49-year old rapper who became rap’s first solo star in the 80’s, is also the youngest person to receive the honor. The ceremony will air Tuesday, December 26th at 9 PM ET.