Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
In terms of music, one could conceivably hold Ice Cube and LL Cool J on the same level. Each blazed a trail different than their contemporaries, both worked to isolate themselves as artists of creative expression long before it was popular to do so, and both men forged a path that many young rap guys follow today. Cool J made it cool to be sexy, giving rap its first hit love song in 1987. Conversely, around the same time on the other side of the country, Ice Cube and company were inadvertently creating a new style of rap, gangsta rap, which would go on to arguably become the most popular genre of music ever.
In regards to post-rap music careers, Cube graduated from in-front-of-the-lens performer to behind the scenes executive while most rappers were still trying to figure out what to call the liquor brand. LL is no slouch either, with dozens of television shows and movie credits bolstering his resumé. As of the last several years, Cool J has become the go-to host for various specials and awards shows, adding more value to his public estate. Each artist used Hip Hop as a springboard to further solidify his mark on entertainment history, and both men have come a long way.
The topic for today’s Roundtable Wednesday is simple: who do you think has had a better run so far, Ice Cube or LL Cool J? Not looking for the GOAT, just the winner.
Words by Tony Grands
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