ll900 What every vet should know about LL Cool J

Honoree LL COOL J attends the 40th Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

By Phil Briggs

Before LL Cool J was a rap pioneer or the television star of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” he was raised by a Navy Veteran. He recently became the first Kennedy Center Honoree for his achievements in Hip Hop.

Wanting to discuss the significance of this award (and our love for jams like, “Goin’ Back to Cali,” “Jingling Baby” and “Around the Way Girl”), we reached out to Hip Hop historian and Washington, D.C. radio personality Joe Clair.

“I remember the generation before me telling me that this music does not count,” Clair said.

joeclair900 What every vet should know about LL Cool J

Longtime radio personality Joe Clair of WPGC-FM in Washington, D.C. (WPGC file photo)

But Hip Hop has certainly proved its existence was not a fad.

“Hip Hop proves its sub-culture first, then it’s mainstream and then it’s classic … we can all remember the tales of rock n roll.  Elvis! They wouldn’t let him on the Ed Sullivan Show. Now he’s got a stamp!” Clair laughed.

Our podcast VetStory includes:

  • Hip Hop History
  • What Grandma shares in Common with Millennials
  • Where Breakfast Cereal meets Hip Hop
  • Why Ladies still love LL


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