LL COOL J is adamant about giving the pioneers of Hip-Hop their flowers. And as AfroTech previously told you, with Rock The Bells — created to empower Hip-Hop culture “from its roots to the modern day” — he’s doing just that.
During an interview on the podcast “Million Dollaz Worth of Game,” the rapper-turned-entrepreneur revealed his global platform Rock The Bells has split its stake with pioneers that include Salt-N-Pepa, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Kool Herc, Roxanne Shante, Run-DMC, and Fab 5 Freddy, among others.
“I felt like the the people who started this culture and the people who helped contribute to this culture deserve to share in the success of the company of Rock The Bells because I believed from the beginning that it would be a success. So, I made sure that they had a piece,” LL COOL J explained during the podcast.
He added: “Sometimes, I’m not even sure they understand what they own a piece of now because Rock The Bells has become something really major now. But it started with me saying ‘You should own a piece.’ That’s how we gotta do with each other.”
LL COOL J knows where his journey began and what came before. If you recall, he was even quick to defend the genre’s early creators last year when a critic called Hip-Hop’s pioneers “dusty.”
He made it clear that the genre would not exist without the originators and that there are more resources available today than ever before.
“When Hip Hop first started, there were no managers, there were no accountants that believed in it,” he said on Instagram Live, according to HipHopDX. “Record companies didn’t even believe in it! Nobody believed in it. How can you make a five-year plan or a 10-year plan on something that doesn’t even exist yet.”
LL COOL J added: “So just because they didn’t get rich, just because they weren’t able to pile up millions or billions of dollars, does not mean that they didn’t make a contribution to this culture. They created an industry that we all ate off of. They created an industry that you eat off of.”
According to a report from Gitnux, the Hip-Hop industry has scaled to be worth an estimated $7.7 billion and that may not have been possible without early pioneers like LL COOL J and more.