Ice-T has explained what led to the end of his beef with LL COOL J after the two legendary artists posed for a rare picture together last weekend.
Both pioneers were among the multi-generational group of artists who participated in the Hip Hop 50 Tribute at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards last Sunday (February 5).
Just ahead of the performance, Ice-T shared a photo of himself with LL COOL J on Instagram, which he captioned: “Here’s a Pic Hip Hop heads probably thought they’d NEVER see.. ICE and @llcoolj Chillin at the 2023 Grammy rehearsals.. Tonight is gonna be Legendary.”
Speaking to AllHipHop after the fact, the West Coast OG offered more context to the caption. “LL and I have been together on different occasions,” he said. “I’ve worked with him on Rock The Bells, we’ve done podcasts and stuff, but as far as an actual physical picture of us? I think there’s probably one other one out there. And I think the other one was before we actually really sat down and talked like grown men about it. But yeah, that’s over and lol the beef never really escalated. It was just rap beef.”
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The animosity between the two was centered around LL COOL J’s assertion in the late ’80s and early ’90s that he was “the baddest rapper in the history of rap itself,” to which Ice-T took objection.
“That was the gist of it, absolutely,” Ice-T confirmed to AllHipHop. “Those things can always escalate because you have fans, and if they catch me out there, they’re gonna talk to me about LL. That can always escalate easily.”
The Hip Hop 50 Tribute, which LL COOL J both introduced and participated in, was curated by Questlove, and saw artists from Salt-N-Pepa, Run-DMC, the Furious Five, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, Public Enemy and Rakim to Method Man, The LOX, Missy Elliot, Nelly, Lil Baby, GloRilla, Lil Uzi Vert and more come together to celebrate every era of the genre.
Ice previously admitted to ET that he was hesitant to join in the tribute. Luckily, however, Questlove was able to convince him to perform.
“Questlove calls me up and he says, ‘Alright, you gotta come to L.A. this weekend. It’s a big performance, I got you in the lineup,’” Ice recalled. “And I was still hesitant ’cause it’s a long travel. But then he says, ‘You don’t want to be sitting at home watching this show, saying you should’ve been there. I was invited but I didn’t show up.’ And [so] I got my Black ass on a plane.”
“Real talk, unfortunately, that’s usually the only time we all get together and see each other,” Ice-T added. “So the GRAMMYs brought us together and it’s so crazy that for a while, rap wasn’t even represented at the GRAMMYs. I got one of the early GRAMMYs with Quincy Jones, you know, but I felt Quincy kinda snuck us in the backdoor.”
He continued: “We don’t get invited to this type of party! The people that were raised by us are now the people making the decisions, and so what a difference a day makes. You see Dr. Dre doing the Super Bowl with 50 Cent, Eminem, all the outlaws. That means that the culture has really broadened to where the people in power are our children.”
While he took time to pay homage to the culture, Ice-T will see his own influence celebrated this week as he is honored with his own star on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced on Tuesday (January 31) that the 64-year-old rapper/actor will receive his star during a ceremony at the tourist hotspot on February 17. Joining Ice-T at the event will be fellow Hip Hop pioneer Chuck D, Law & Order: Special Victims Units co-star Mariska Hargitay and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf as guest speakers.
Despite his long-running role in the police drama, Ice-T’s trailblazing music career is the reason for his inclusion on the Walk of Fame as he will be awarded the star in the category of Recording.
Ice-T reacted to the news with pleasant surprise and reflected on the irony of being immortalized in the same neighborhood where he used to frequently run into legal trouble.
“When I think about how many times I got arrested in Hollywood…. This is a trip,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ice-T’s star will mark the 2,747th addition to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’ll become just the 11th Hip Hop act to receive a star following the likes of Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, LL COOL J, Diddy, Ice Cube, Pharrell, Missy Elliott and Queen Latifah.