LL took us to the rock in Hollis where he used to hang out and where a music video of his was shot. Once people got word he was there, they started flocking to us -- dozens of fans interrupted our interview several times for a chance to snap a picture with LL and shake his hand. At one point, a city bus stopped, and kids tried to jump out of it just to meet him. Then we headed to his friend’s barber shop, Heads Up Barber Shop on Linden Boulevard (in the pic above).
Our talk with LL was all over the place…
He talked to us about changes in the hip-hop lifestyle –- how he claims that he brought champagne and gold chains to rap in ’88, because that was the life he lived. (He remembered arguing with Jam Master Jay about who had the bigger chains!) He believes the people weren't ready for that yet, and it took another eight or nine years before that style came back.
LL turned to politics and told us he’s convinced Barack Obama can take the general election, even though there are still pockets of racism in the US. LL also gave a shout-out to Hillary Clinton, saying he has plenty of respect for her, and he’s glad his own daughter has had the chance to see a woman run for president. "Americans have the ability to makes things happen,” he said. “It’s not easy to make it happen, but it can -- I'm from Queens.”
From the campaign to his music, LL said, “I'm not keeping up with the game, I'm winning! I'm ahead with the delegates, I'm ahead with the popular vote!" He wasn’t upset that he wasn’t included in MTV News’ latest “Hottest MCs in the Game” list, saying that it’s based mainly on chart positions and what people are talking about in the moment. "I could go outside and light an old lady on fire, and suddenly I'm the hottest rapper," he joked. “Next year, I'll be on the list."
Check back with MTVNews.com in the coming weeks for more from our talk with LL Cool J.