Ahead of Hip-Hop’s 50th birthday on Aug. 11, LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells threw the genre a celebration packed with unforgettable moments. Hosted on Aug. 5 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY, the Rock The Bells Festival’s lineup included Hip-Hop pioneers such as Queen Latifah, who brought out surprise guests Naughty By Nature, Big Boi, Remy Ma, and more.
Another performer who hit the stage was Swizz Beatz and friends — one of them being Beanie Sigel.
As previously reported by AfroTech, the Philly rapper revealed that he has a new album in the works, and he plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) to bring back his sounds from when he was in his prime.
“It’s definitely for me,” Sigel told DJUTV. “A lot of people I’ve seen they’ve been frowning upon it and I’m like, ‘How can I use that?’ I was talking to somebody and they told me how you program the AI. You run the vocals through there. So y’all want, what they say, ‘The old Beans back?’ ‘Cause the pen’s still there. It’s just the voice. If y’all want that, I’ma shoot y’all something. So I’m gonna use AI on myself.”
The debate on whether AI should be utilized in the music industry is ongoing. However, LL Cool J has made clear where he personally stands. During a fireside chat on “The Business of Building Hip Hop: The Next 50 Years” at Nasdaq Marketsite, the Hip-Hop legend gave his own take on the trending topic.
“Artificial intelligence is a tool,” LL Cool J said. “The only time that artificial intelligence or things like that are gonna be a problem is when people are afraid of the tools…Every new technology is a tool. It’s how you use it. It can be a nuclear bomb or it can be a nuclear reactor that creates energy.”
He added, “To me, I think it’s how we’re going to ultimately embrace artificial intelligence and use it to our benefit that’s going to make the difference.”
Another reason why LL Cool J isn’t phased by AI is because he believes human will is always going to reign supreme.
“Ultimately, human will is a thing that you can’t measure…And ultimately that’s always gonna separate the saints from the aints.”
Within the fireside chat, LL Cool J also shared how he’s remained financially secure over his nearly 40-year career, as previously reported by AfroTech.
“You have to delay instant gratification if you really want to have financial security,” LL Cool J advised. “And you have to live below your means. I have nice houses but they’re probably not the sizes that people would imagine. I don’t have as many cars as people would imagine.”
He emphasized, “I’ve never been a slave to my lifestyle at no point in my career. That’s why I can say no to anything. I’m not under any pressure, and I pay my taxes — that alone is a nice start.”