?uestlove, Bill Cosby Talk NAACP Image Awards

Hip-Hop

made its presence known at this year’s NAACP Image Awards with the inclusion of

rap veteran LL Cool J and The Roots.LL

Cool J presided over the 38th annual event, which was held Friday (March 2)."I

won’t ask you why the chicken crossed the road," the rhymester joked as he

asked the crowd to bear with his first time playing host. "I justask

that you bear with me. I’m going to try to carry this thing with dignity."LL’s

appearance at the awards served a deeper purpose for Image Awards writer and producer

P. Frank Williams, who felt the rapper acted as a bridge for generations old and

new to come together."One

of the best things about the show as a Hip-Hop person is to see somebody like

LL Cool J step up and merge the old school NAACP with the Hip-Hop generation,"

Williams told AllHipHop.com. "It was a very dignified affair. It wasn’t the

Source awards so, we can throw in U2’s Bono with LL Cool J and that’s a good mix

of the Hip-Hop generation and the rock stars."LL

wasn’t the only Hip-Hop representative working the crowd.The

Roots took center stage later at the event as part of musical tribute to NAACP

Chairman award recipient Bono.The

collective nabbed the award for Outstanding Duo or Group over fellow nominees

Outkast, Gnarls Barkley and the Cheetah Girls prior to the livetelecast."We

won best group. We’re the only group, right? Do people still work together nowadays?"

drummer ?uestlove quipped while expressing the group’s happiness at winning.

"We’re honored. This is 15 years in the making."The

aftermath of the Academy Awards continued to resonate as best winner Forest Whitaker

and best supporting actress winner Jennifer Hudson took home the NAACP award for

outstanding actor and outstanding supporting actress in a motion picture.CNN

personality Soledad O’Brien received the honorary President’s Award for her work

as a journalist, while Bill Cosby was inducted into the NAACP Image Awards Hall

of Fame."It

is an honor, because of the humble beginnings," Cosby told AllHipHop.com.

"You have slavery, you have words to correct the wrongsto stand up against.

The advancement may not just been just at the institutional or the systemic issues…the

advancement has to do withgetting people involved in the home – every where."

The

NAACP Awards were sponsored by companies like General Motors (GM), Verizon, Fed

Ex, Coors and others.

The ceremony comes on the heels of the the NAACP’s new alliance with Bono’s ONE

Campaign as well as the recent resignation of NAACP president and CEO Bruce S.

Gordon."We

wish Mr. Gordon well in his future pursuits," said NAACP national board of

directors chairman Julian Bond in a statement. "I have named our general

counsel Dennis Hayes as interim president. We will immediately begin a widespread

search for a replacement, examining candidates from the non-profit, corporate,

and civil rights communities and others, seeking a new president who can insure

our mission of social justice advocacy strengthens and grows as we approach our

Centennialanniversary in 2009."The

ONE Campaign partnership marks the NAACP’s official stand against global AIDS

and extreme poverty in Africa and the world’s poorest countries.There

are currently more than 1 billion people around the world live on less than $1

a day.Africa

has felt the impact of the HIV/AIDS virus more than any other region of the world.

Last year alone, more than 2.1 million Africans died from AIDS last year, in addition

to 24.7 million Africans who are infected with the HIV virus.

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