LL Cool J Reminisces About His Grammy Past
By RAPHAEL CHESTANG
November 29, 2011
Before becoming a permanent fixture at the Grammys, LL Cool J first performed at the award show in 1992, rapping his smash single Mama Said Knock You Out. At the 2012 Grammy Nominations Concert rehearsal, LL reminisced with The Insider about that performance, revealing a little-known fact.
"The day of the performance [my father and manager] got angry at the band and fired them," said LL on Tuesday, smiling at the memory. The NCIS: Los Angeles star chuckled while adding, "I had to perform on the Grammys with a band that I had never rehearsed with ever in [my] life!"
Regardless, the music icon delivered one of his signature dynamic performances, as Mama Said Knock You Out won him the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance that year.
Even with all his experience, LL hasn't allowed himself to become jaded. He could hardly contain his enthusiasm at the chance to perform a tribute song with a few of his childhood idols.
LL, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, Scorpio, Common and Lupe Fiasco will be performing The Message (the 1982 single by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) as a tribute to the forefathers of hip-hop.
"[The Message] is one of the most important hip-hop records that really helped launch the genre and take the culture to another level, because it was the first socially conscious record that really described what was going on in the community," said LL, who is hosting the concert. "It's a really important song with a really positive message."
"I was actually afraid of it," said Lupe, when asked about what drew him to be apart of the tribute. "But at the same time, I feel honored and exhilarated."
Other notable performers include Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Jason Aldean, The Band Perry and more.
Watch the 2012 Grammy Nominations Concert on Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. And mark your calendars for the 54th Grammy Awards airing February 12 at 8/7c also on the eye network.