LL Cool J Speaks To The Evolution of Hip-Hop As A Billion-Dollar Industry: 'When Hip-Hop First Started, There Were No Accountants'
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LL Cool J Speaks To The Evolution of Hip-Hop As A Billion-Dollar Industry: 'When Hip-Hop First Started, There Were No Accountants'

LL Cool J is setting the record straight for anyone with something to say about the pioneers of Hip-Hop.

The genre, which was birthed by DJ Kool Herc during a back-to-school party hosted in the Bronx, NY, on Aug. 11, 1973, has changed the lives of people across, not just the nation, but the planet.

Now, some recent remarks made by DJ Akademiks have caused some to raise their eyebrows and give a reminder of what those early contributions to Hip-Hop looked like.

“It came to my attention that a DJ said that a lot of the pioneers in Hip-Hop are dusty, and asked how could they be the people that invented Hip-Hop if they didn’t present like they have a lot of money,” said LL Cool J during an Instagram Live video on Thursday night (Sept. 21).

 

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Leading The Way

Furthermore, he noted that for the first generation of artists in the genre, creating a business model for something that absolutely no one believed in was not an easy feat and that DJ Akademiks’ comments potentially cause more harm than good.

“It’s a bad idea and a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture,” the “Mama Said Knock You Out” lyricist explained. “I embrace the young artists and I believe in you — every generation. Today, you can come up with your five, 10, and 20-year plans and go find a manager or accountant and a team to help your career go to the next level. When Hip-Hop first started, there were no accountants or record companies who believed in it. Nobody believed in it.”

A Billion-Dollar Industry

As previously reported by AfroTech, in 2020, Hip-Hop alongside R&B made up nearly a third of all streams in the U.S.

“Back in 2006, ABC News did a special report and announced that the Hip-Hop industry was worth more than $10 billion (with a “B”) a year,” we also reported.

Despite the numbers, record labels and music industry executives are still accused of taking advantage of artists. From bad business deals to capitalizing off the culture, it is vital that those who make up the genre protect it at all costs. LL closed out with a reminder to not just equate the music with glitter and gold.

Worth More Than Just Money

LL Cool J is estimated to have a net worth of $120 million, AfroTech previously reported. He is one of the very first Hip-Hop artists to go mainstream, with numerous acting gigs under his belt, yet he stressed that it isn’t always all about the benjamins.

“Don’t think because someone failed to get money that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture,” said the 54-year-old legend. “No one discusses Miles Davis’ bank account, or even John Coltrane, or even rock and country musicians.”