LL Cool J says he “paved the way” for Drake to rap about his feelings

LL Cool J has argued that he “paved the way” for a number of modern rappers who approach certain themes, singling out Drake, Fabolous and Jadakiss

Discussing his 1987 hit ‘I Need Love’, one of the first sensitive hip-hop tracks to become a hit, the rapper remembered “a lot of friction” when the track was released.

“Back then, it was really conservative and if the energy wasn’t testosterone, like I’m punching you in your face, kicking the door down, you don’t get a lot of credit,” he told Complex.

In hip hop, you only get brownie points for creativity within certain parameters… When you try to go outside of that box, if it’s anything that’s not considered 1000% street, [you get] no credit.”

Later in the interview, LL said he was “glad that it created a genre”, before singling out some of the rappers he believes he’s inspired.“I’m glad that now, years later, a Fabolous can go out and do his thing and still be very well-respected as a lyricist. A Jadakiss can do his love song and still be well-respected as a lyricist… I’m glad I was able to help it.”

Going on to address direct comparisons to Drake, LL said: “We’re very different artists because I have a lot of hard records and I’m very diverse,” he continued. “But in that aspect of my career, it paved the way for guys like that… who I’m happy for. I like a lot of his music too.”

Drake meanwhile, apologised last week for referring to Kylie Jenner as his “side-piece” in a track he’d released a few days earlier.

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