Don’t call it a comeback…he’s been here for years.

Hip hop’s finest (and we do mean that in more ways than one), LL Cool J is gearing to release his 14th studio album, Authentic Hip-Hop, early next year. The iconic rapper revealed his album cover with ESSENCE, adding that the project is especially catered to his true fans.

“I’m not trying to compete with 17-year-olds on the radio, but I am talking directly to the folks who came up with me,” he tells “We may not be teenagers anymore, but we do still like to have fun.”

Though it will be released in 2013, Authentic Hip-Hop, has already produced two radio-friendly singles, “Ratchet” and “Take It.” Are you as excited as we are about Authentic Hip-Hop?