He’s one of the greatest rappers ever to some, while for others he’s a TV star.
But either way, LL Cool J is now a member of the esteemed group of Kennedy Center honorees and fans are happy about it.
LL, born James Todd Smith, became the first hip-hop artist feted with the prestigious honor.
“I want to personally thank every single one of you !! You bought the songs you attended the concerts,” he wrote in a tweet. “You called the radio stations!! “You” inspired me!!! You’ve been with me the whole time. I love you #HIPHOP!! “WE” MADE HISTORY!!! #KCHonors”
I want to personally thank every single one of you !! You bought the songs you attended the concerts!! You called the radio stations!! “You” inspired me!!! You’ve been with me the whole time. I love you #HIPHOP!! “WE” MADE HISTORY!!! #KCHonors
— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) December 27, 2017
Fans reciprocated the love, sharing their excitement about the honor.
TONITE is a win for Hip Hop! Salute to LL Cool J on this incredible feat! You have laid the foundation for so many others hip hop artists to receive this distinguished Kennedy Center Honor! Great performances w Latifah, Lyte, DMC & Busta Rhymes. God's blessings on ur endeavors, L pic.twitter.com/12OJj6otmj
— MC Debbie D (@MCDebbieD) December 27, 2017
HIP HOP LOVERS
HISTORY HAS BEEN MADE
ONE OF THE PIONEERS
HAS JUST MADE
IN THE 40 TH
ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS
WE SALUTE YOU
LL COOL J
— JoAnn Nethea (@JNethea) December 27, 2017
There was a special appreciation for the tribute performance in honor of LL, which included such hip-hop stars as Busta Rhymes, DMC, MC Lyte and Black Thought.
MC LYTE, ?uestlove, Busta, Black Thought, DMC…all honoring the GOAT LL Cool J. Kennedy Center has probably never kicked it like this. #KCHonors
— Carlton Logan (@chefcorky) December 27, 2017
DMC just tore up the mic on a freestyle honoring LL Cool J on the Kennedy Center Honors! 1st Hip Hol Artist bestowed with this honor!! #rockthebells
— Michael Carter (@CarterGraves02) December 27, 2017
The rapper was part of a group that included American dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade; singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan; television writer and producer Norman Lear; and singer/songwriter Lionel Richie, who were all honored at the 40th annual event.
LL talked to CBS News about being selected.
“When you end up at the Kennedy Center, you realize that, you know what, man that was really an against-all-odds story,” he said. “And you realize how lucky and blessed you are.”