LL Cool J’s upcoming studio album will feature the likes of Eminem, Nas, and more.
The man often regarded as the G.O.A.T. of rap is making his return to the hip-hop arena in a monumental fashion. LL Cool J will release his first album in a decade, and the pedigree of the star-studded lineup is of the highest ilk. LL’s upcoming album will feature heavy hitters like Eminem and Nas, plus Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and Saweetie.
While the album release date is yet to be revealed, LL Cool J already dropped off the lead track this month titled “The Force.” The entire album is produced by Q-Tip from the iconic ’80s hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest. LL spoke on this on the red carpet at the Grammys this year. “I think honestly and sincerely that Q-Tip as a producer is unbelievable and what he did on this record for me, I think is amazing. So the world will decide,” he told E! News.
The veteran rapper’s impending release is a timely token in honor of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary this year. LL was a part of the “Hip Hop 50” tribute that took place on the Grammy stage in February alongside Wu-Tang Clan, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Run-DMC, Lil Wayne, and more.
The veteran rapper’s highly anticipated return to hip-hop music has the potential to cause a real upset in the current hip-hop framework, as its success could be indicative of a change in direction from the glorified trap music that we have come to know in recent times. “The album, I think, is really, really special,” the rapper also told E! News at the 65th Grammy Awards earlier this year. “I think it’s something modern without chasing. It’s a whole new thing. I can’t wait for the people to see it.”
While LL’s promised Eminem collaboration for his 2014 album G.O.A.T. 2 did not see fruition, fans are assured that the long-awaited joint track will be on the impending album. In 2016, the rapper told Billboard that Em already laid his vocals for the track. “He actually did his vocals and everything,” said LL Cool J. “It really happened. I want the overall project to be good. Em is my man and I love him. He’s also a friend of mine, so we’ll definitely get it poppin’. The world has been waiting for that. They’ll get it the right way and it’s gonna be amazing.”
As of now, the album remains untitled, and we are sitting at the edge of our seats, eagerly awaiting the release date. However, LL has been teasing it long enough for fans to know what to expect, or at least what his objective is. The Queens rapper says he wants to contribute to this era of hip-hop music.
“I want to give this era a taste of LL Cool J,” he told the publication in 2016. “With Hip Hop today, in this era, I feel like I have to make a contribution. I’ve made a contribution in every other era. I haven’t made a high powered one in this era yet. I look forward to doing that. I think it’s going to set a standard for the culture in general. It’ll make things a lot more fun.”
Here is a hopeful projection: After the anticipated success of LL Cool J’s 14th studio album post his 10-year hiatus, perhaps other veterans that the culture misses dearly will follow suit.