The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer made a rare appearance on Instagram Live on Wednesday night (September 21), where he lectured the controversial media personality after he branded old rappers “dusty.”
“It came to my attention that a DJ — and I’m not gonna say any names ’cause I don’t think it’s necessary — a DJ basically said that a lot of the pioneers in Hip Hop, they’re dusty or how can they be the person that invented Hip Hop if they don’t have a lot of money, or if they don’t represent like they have a lot of dough,” he began.
“Let me explain something to you: don’t think just because somebody knows how to get money — or fails to get money — that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture. No one discusses Miles Davis’ bank account. We don’t talk about John Coltrane’s bank account. A lot of even rock musicians … a lot of great country artists, we don’t talk about their bank accounts.”
He added: “This idea that you have to have money or else you don’t have any value is a bad idea and it’s a misinformed way of looking at the world and the culture.”
LL went on to illustrate why he believes Akademiks is “misinformed,” pointing out that early Hip Hop artists weren’t able to benefit from a thriving industry like today’s rappers are.
“Today, you can come up with your five-year plan, your 10-year plan, your 20-year plan. You can go find a manager, you can find an accountant, you can find a team that helps your career go to the next level,” he continued.
“When Hip Hop first started, there were no managers, there were no accountants that believed in it. Record companies didn’t even believe in it! Nobody believed in it. How can you make a five-year plan or a 10-year plan on something that doesn’t even exist yet?”
He added: “So just because [these pioneers] didn’t get rich, just because they weren’t able to pile up millions or billions of dollars, does not mean that they didn’t make a contribution to this culture. They created an industry that we all ate off of! They created an industry that you eat off of!”
The Queens, New York native admitted that while making money is something he’s always preached, that shouldn’t get in the way of Hip Hop forefathers being shown their proper respect, especially from those who earn a living in the very culture they helped create.
“When you go monetize your brand, when you go negotiate your deals and negotiate your checks and talk tough, guess what?” he said. “That food that you eating was created by those same people that you disrespecting. That industry was created by them same people that you calling, you know, foul words.
“I’m all about getting paper, I’ve been talking about it my whole career. But don’t ever, ever, ever confuse being rich with making a contribution to our culture. Don’t ever play yourself like that again.”
He concluded: “Approach this game with humility and be glad and be thankful that these pioneers helped create this culture. And let’s show them love, let’s elevate them, let’s celebrate them … There are people that started this thing, and I think that they deserve to be honored and respected.”
While LL COOL J refrained from mentioning Akademiks by name, former Hot 97 DJ Mister Cee later connected the dots by posting an audio clip of the Off the Record podcast host’s comments, followed by LL’s response. The remarks were made during a recent Twitch live stream.
“Them old rappers, man. Have you seen any of these old rappers who be like, yo, they’re the foundation of Hip Hop really living good?” Ak said. “Them n-ggas be looking really dusty, I kid you not. And none of y’all try to come for me ’cause I don’t fuck with y’all n-ggas either, so I’m just telling y’all the truth.”
He added: “Every time there be like an old, old n-gga talking about Hip Hop, you be like, ‘Yo, bro. You sure you invented this? ‘Cause everybody else is looking better than you.’ Facts!”
LL COOL J’s Instagram Live lecture was applauded by many of his rap peers, including Busta Rhymes, Royce Da 5’9″, Doug E. Fresh, Lloyd Banks, DJ Z-Trip, MC Sha-Rock and Scorpio from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.
“God Talk!! Thank you @llcoolj,” Busta wrote on Mister Cee’s Instagram page, while Royce commented on LL’s original post: “Man. People just saying anything at this point… You’re the perfect person to place perspective on this one.”
This isn’t the first time Akademiks has come under fire for his outspoken views on Hip Hop. In July, The Game checked the former Everyday Struggle co-host for claiming the rap industry and the “streets” are no longer one and the same.
“I’m sittin’ here listening and Akademiks, you made some fucked up points,” the Compton rapper said on a Clubhouse call. “You sayin’ the rap shit ain’t the streets shit. N-ggas been smoked — rappers, regular n-ggas, street n-ggas […] Since Biggie and ‘Pac died, this shit been rap and street shit.
“Bro, y’all better get off this, get from behind the muthafuckin’ computer screen and catch a bullet or something to know this for real.”