Biden honored LL and Lyte at the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards on Saturday (September 23), but the sitting U.S. president caught heat for comments made during his speech and getting LL’s name wrong.
“Two of the greatest artist of our time, representing the groundbreaking legacy of Hip Hop in America,” he said. “LL Jay Cool J…uh…by the way, that boy, uh, that man’s got bigger biceps than my thighs. And MC Lyte. Both of you, thank you.”
MC Lyte took to Instagram on Monday (September 25) to address Joe Biden’s comments, saying she believes he made an honest “mistake” and that they weren’t said with any malicious intent.
“Thank you to all of my brothers and sisters for your love and your warm embrace as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop,” she wrote. “First, I want to say that I have nothing but respect, love, and admiration for my big brother LL COOL J.
“For being a pioneer in this business, for helping me write some of my iconic rhymes and for inviting me to be a part of his tribute during the Kennedy Center Honors, a high ranking achievement which has only been bestowed to one Hip Hop artist to date: to the G.O.A.T. LL Cool J. I will forever thank, honor and love him.”
She continued: “In regard to the recent occurrence during the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards, while I do not condone any disrespect of any kind, especially to a Black man we all love and hold in high regard, I must say, I was actually there and I do not believe President Biden’s comments were mal- intended, he made a mistake. A mistake I’m sure he regrets.
“One of my most fond memories is that of being in the presence of my elders when they make a mistake with a name, sometimes even my own. I pray that we will pay more attention to the historic importance of this moment than the errors that were made in it.”
Instead, MC Lyte suggested people should focus on the fact that the U.S. President and Vice President are showing love to Hip Hop for the first time.
“What we should all spend time focusing on is this: for the first time in history, both the President and Vice President of the United States, together, have acknowledged, embraced and publicly shown their love and appreciation for a monumental achievement in Hip Hop,” she continued.
“Let’s try to keep showing each other love and grace . . . Long live Hip Hop!”
LL COOL J previously lit the National Christmas Tree alongside President Joe Biden and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, at the White House in November 2022.
“The most epic selfie you’ll see today,” he captioned one of his Instagram posts documenting the occasion. “Such an honor to be lighting the National Christmas Tree with The President of The United States.”