If the Kennedy Center isn’t going to tell you about the two best things LL Cool J’s been involved with then I will.
This is LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley.
Currently housed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., the oil on canvas painting was commissioned by the VH1 Hip Hop Honors in 2005 as part of a set. It is partially inspired by John Singer Sargent’s portrait of John D. Rockefeller and it is fucking glorious up close.
My first time seeing it was prefaced by a small child gasping “LL Cool J” in the most reverent voice I’ve ever heard. That was followed by several minutes of stunned, adoring silence once I actually laid eyes on it. This photograph is old by the way. LL Cool J by Kehinde Wiley has its own wall now. Because they know…
So if you’re ever in D.C., I would highly recommend making a pilgrimage to the National Portrait Gallery to bask in the awesomeness of this painting.
And now I leave you with the greatest movie tie in song maybe ever, in which a genetically engineered shark that is also LL Cool J threatens to eat your ancestors.
Congratulations on your Kennedy Center Honor, LL Cool J! You have brought us all so much joy and you deserve it.
I genuinely mean that. I just don’t know how to make it not sound sarcastic.
Have a good night, y’all.