Love him or hate him, DJ Akademiks is one of the most prominent figures in modern-day Hip-Hop media. His controversial takes sometimes rile up fans and rappers. It appears LL Cool J had an issue with something Ak said about Hip Hop’s forefathers and foremothers.
“Have you seen any of these old rappers who be like they’re the foundation of Hip Hop really living good?” asked Akademiks in an audio clip circulating on social media. “Them n##### be looking really dusty. I kid you not. Don’t none of y’all try and come for me ’cause I don’t f### with y’all n#####.”
LL Cool J went on Instagram to share his thoughts about the comments made by DJ Akademiks. The legendary New York City-bred emcee addressed Ak’s remarks without mentioning him by name.
“It came to my attention that a deejay – and I’m not gonna say any names ’cause I don’t think it’s necessary – a deejay basically said that a lot of the pioneers in Hip Hop, they’re dusty or how can they be the person that invented Hip Hop if they don’t have a lot of money, or if they don’t represent like they have a lot of dough,” said LL.
The 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee added, “Don’t think just because somebody knows how to get money, or fails to get money, that they didn’t make a contribution to the culture. No one discusses Miles Davis’s bank account. We don’t talk about John Coltrane’s bank account. We don’t talk about a lot of Rock musicians’ bank accounts. A lot of great Country artists, we don’t talk about their bank accounts.”
LL Cool J Explains The Barriers Hip Hop Pioneers Had To Face
In his video message, LL Cool J went on to say the belief that someone not having money means they don’t have any value is “a bad idea” and “misinformed.” He also pointed out that the state of the Hip Hop business in the 1970s and 1980s was very different from what it is today.
“When Hip Hop first started, there were no managers, there were no accountants that believed in it. Record companies didn’t even believe in it. Nobody believed in it. How can you make a 5-year plan or a 10-year plan on something that doesn’t even exist yet?” LL Cool J asked his Instagram followers.
The Kennedy Center Honors recipient explained, “So just because [Hip Hop pioneers] didn’t get rich, just because they weren’t able to pile up millions or billions of dollars, does not mean that they didn’t make a contribution to this culture. They created an industry that we all ate off of. They created an industry that you eat off of.”
LL Cool J then warned, “I’m all about getting paper. I’ve been talking about it my whole career. But don’t ever, ever, ever confuse being rich with making a contribution to our culture. Don’t ever play yourself like that again!”