The discourse surrounding the greatest of all time has been one rife with adamance, hot takes, and hyperbole. And yet, it remains one of the most fun talking points, be it in a barbershop setting or merely among friends. Names like 2Pac, Biggie, Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem, Andre 3000, and Snoop Dogg are often hailed; newer voices like Kendrick Lamar and Drake have recently gained credibility as contenders. Yet one name who often goes uncelebrated, despite boasting a massive influence on lyricism and flow, is LL Cool J.
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Currently bringing classic hip-hop to the masses as the host of Rock The Bells radio, LL has amassed a sizable discography of hits, collaborations, and memorable verses to his name. For Snoop Dogg, birthday boy LL served as a dominant inspiration during his come-up, a fact he openly shared in a celebratory Instagram post this morning.
“Happy c day to my. O. G,” pens Uncle Snoop, alongside a picture of LL in his heydey. “One of the rappers I studied and learned line for line bar for bar style attitude and class on the mic. Goat is why I still here. L. L. Cool. J. Is hard. As hell.” He’s certainly not alone in that assessment; his former mentor Dr. Drerecently sat down for an extensive conversation with LL, a rare sighting indeed. Likewise did Eminem, equally selective in who he reaches out to. Perhaps it’s time to start including LL in the greater GOAT discourse — who is vouching for him?