2.) He Survived Multiple Eras

When LL came on the scene in the early 80s, many rappers and fans before him as a young punk that didn’t respect his elders. He was pretty much looked at the way people look at Lil Yachty now. He battled the most feared rapper at the time, Kool Moe Dee and won, essentially ushering in the first “new school” era in Hip-Hop. From there he became a star and icon in the 1980s delivering everything from anti-drug PSA disguised as music videos to the first Hip-Hop love ballad. But LL’s most significant wins came when he was expected to lose. LL was perhaps the only rapper from his era to survive through 1990s decade where Gangsta, underground and pop rap took turns dominating. His 1993 album 14 Shots To The Dome attempted to keep up with the Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre’s of the world. It failed but still had a couple joints on there. His 1995 album Mr. Smith came as East Coast Hip-Hop was making a resurgence thanks to Biggie and Nas. It gave us vintage “ladies love” anthems like “Hey Lover” and “Doin’ It” but it also had hard tracks like “I Shot Ya,” especially the remix with Fat Joe, Keith Murray and Foxy Brown. Then he ended the decade dropping Phenomenon, teaming up with Diddy and the Hitmen who were running rap at the time.

LL is a survivor.

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