LL Cool J Becomes First Rapper to Be Honored at The Kennedy Center

at 4:34 pm | By

One for Hip-Hop

Ladies love cool James, and that’s a fact. This along with his undeniable talent, his influence within hip-hop has earned LL Cool J a head nod from The Kennedy Center. The Washington-based performing arts center holds an annual celebration — Kennedy Center Honors — where they honor someone in performing arts who has changed American culture for the better.

The annual tradition dates back to the late 1970s. Previous winners include Al Green (2014), Herbie Hancock (2012), Meryl Streep (2011), and Oprah Winfrey (2010). Throughout its nearly four decades of existence, a rapper has never been recognized. So, this is a big deal.

For the event, The Kennedy Center pulled out all the stops.

ll cool performing on stage in all white

Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images