LL COOL J’s media and e-commerce venture Rock The Bells has reportedly secured an $8 million fund from private investors.
Rock The Bells president and former BET and Coca-Cola marketing executive James Cuthbert told Variety‘s Strictly Business podcast the company plans to invest the money in content production, merchandise and e-commerce opportunities and infrastructure to work with brands on marketing and sponsorship opportunities.
In other words, “content, commerce and experiences” are what will take Rock The Bells to new heights.
“We think those work together to form a flywheel,” Cuthbert said. “The first priority is to bring more staff into the company, which at present has a handful of employees. It’s important to have the right human beings.”
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Named after LL COOL J’s seminal 1985 hit “Rock The Bells,” the company was birthed last year after the success of the Hip Hop legend’s SiriusXM radio show of the same name. A quick visit to the website reveals Rock The Bells’ mission is to celebrate the culture’s pioneers and architects while still staying current, covering the early 1970s to mid-2000s and beyond.
A large percentage of Rock The Bells listeners on SiriusXM are under the age of 25, which is encouraging for Cuthbert.
In terms of its future, Cuthbert said the goal is to ramp up “short, medium and long-form content, all with the underlying thematic of elevating classic Hip Hop and building cultural bridges for people who have yet to fully discover the mythology that sits in our classic Hip Hop.”
He added, “Imagine if somebody had wrapped their head around building a brand (that encapsulated) classic rock. Rock The Bells aims to be just that for the hip hop arena. We are working with brands who want to authentically play in this space. If you want to leverage Hip Hop, we can help.”
As LL COOL J explained in 2018 as the radio station was getting off the ground, “If you wanna be a fly on the wall in the world of classic Hip Hop, SiriusXM’s ‘Rock the Bells Radio’ is for you. It’s where fans can come and be immersed in the music, the culture, the energy and the history of classic Hip Hop.
“We’re gonna have great artists, legendary artists, lyricists, superstars, sex symbols. This is the place to be if you want uncut, raw, pure, classic Hip Hop, but there’s one catch — it’s strictly for O.G.’s.”
There’s no doubt LL COOL J has delivered. Check out the station here and website here.