LL Cool J, who originated the popular G.O.A.T. title, continues to solidify his spot as one of music’s greatest of all time. On Saturday (Dec. 2), James Todd Smith celebrated his Kennedy Center Honors induction during the State Department Dinner in Washington, D.C.
Taking to Instagram, the iconic MC reflected on becoming the first rapper ever to receive the Kennedy Center Honor. “I believe that we are built to do anything we put our minds and proper actions to,” wrote LL. “You have all the tools inside you that are required for you to fulfill your GOD given purpose.”
He continued: “This one is for those who came before me and those who followed me. We were sent to this planet to love and inspire one another. Manifest our dreams and make them a reality. I hope you’re inspired by me because I’m absolutely Inspired by you. Mic check 1212 Let’s ride!!”
N.W.A legend Ice Cube celebrated his fellow hip-hop pioneer, tweeting, “Congrats to the homie LL. Raps first solo superstar and trailblazer.”
Congrats to the homie LL. Raps first solo superstar and trailblazer… https://t.co/7MwK4ykBma
— Ice Cube (@icecube) December 3, 2017
LL is one of five honorees at the 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, which also includes Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Norman Lear, and Carmen de Lavallade. Sharing a photo with his fellow honorees, LL wrote: “The @KennedyCenter Honors Class of 2017. Truly Honored to be sharing this special moment with this group of extraordinary people. Congratulations to my fellow honorees!!!”
Since breaking onto the scene with 1985’s Radio, LL Cool J has been a pivotal figure in hip-hop culture. His dominance continued throughout a storied discography and has since expanded into other industries, including television and film.
The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors is set to take place Sunday (Dec. 3), and will air Tuesday (Dec. 26) at 9 p.m. on CBS.