Round Of Applause, Please: LL Cool J To Be The First Rapper Recognized By Kennedy Center Honors
Steve Granitz

Congrats are in order for LL Cool J, who will not only be honored at the annual Kennedy Center Honors event, but will make history as the first rapper to be recognized by the organization. 

Cool J will celebrate the event along with a number of artists like Gloria Estefan and Lionel Richie

Speaking with The Washington Post, Cool J said, “I am blown away. This is the biggest musical award you can receive. To be recognized by your country, and to be able to represent hip-hop as an art form is amazing. I’m surprised, grateful, humbled and honored.”

The event is the first under Trump’s administration, which has angered many in the arts after Trump introduced a budget that would slash funding and dismantle the National Endowment for the Arts. One Kennedy Center official told WaPo that Trump plans to attend the festivities. 

The honor ties LL Cool J with Stevie Wonder as the youngest artist, at 49, to receive the award.