LL Cool J Honored with I Am Hip-Hop Award at 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards
Veteran rapper LL Cool J received the prestigious I Am Hip-Hop Award during the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards telecast. The Queens, N.Y. native was recognized for his long-standing career in rap. Beginning with his 1985 hits 'I Can't Live Without My Radio' and 'Rock the Bells,' LL has been rocking the mic for nearly three decades.
Before rapper Nelly presented LL with the award, he acknowledged the icon's accomplishments and offered this revelation, "If it wasn't for LL's [breakthrough rap ballad] 'I Need Love' there wouldn't be a 'How to Love' by Lil Wayne," he told the audience. A video montage followed as rap dignitaries such as Busta Rhymes and Russell Simmons recall their memories of LL Cool J's rise to fame.
At the podium, LL thanked God wife and family. Then, like a true MC, LL Cool J use his acceptance speech to spit an uplifting rhyme about his life and career. Read it below:
My acceptance speech/ What I won’t do is try preach / I won’t assume that I am smarter than you and try to teach / What I will do is set an example for you and inspire you to reach for the stars that’s beyond mars that space bars can’t delete.
Because without a dream fulfilled your life’s incomplete / A hearst, a limousine without a backseat / The worst, this Usain Bolt without feet / Real life aint Hollywood, it’s Halloween / Every day is trick or treat / It aint a red carpet it’s a bloody sidewalk from the wolves eating red meat / And these spotlights don’t come with money they come with police / Millionaires cry about raising taxes on the elite / They won’t feed us, as they’d rather defeat us / Like an aborted fetus.
But your greatest feat is to get back up on your feet / Did I mention, life aint a sprint it’s a marathon / Really stressful on your tendons/and with the shape the economy is in today, you better run to the polls like skinny Kenyans / 26 miles miles and two hours and three minutes / It wasn’t weeks or months / It took us 400 years to raise the debt limit / So don’t lose faith, there’s a sweet life out there and one day you will taste / And just like any marathon, you must monitor your pace / And watch out for the haters pushing drinks up in your face / Maintain your focus through the ups and downs and debates / And when you win your award, make sure you put in a safe place/and be prepared for whatever…just in case.”
LL Cool J is still hard as hell.