Friday, May 20, 2016

LL Cool J is a Good Friend to the Jews

I just read an article in the Jewish Journal about a recent appearance that rap legend LL Cool J made at a benefit for The Ulmer Institute. The article, titled "LL Cool J discusses his Jewish friends, Israel and more," includes an interview LL Cool J gave at the event.

Rap Legend LL Cool J with Rabbi Jason Miller
LL Cool J with Rabbi Jason Miller

The event Wednesday night supported TUI, which focuses on treating, researching and training around trauma relief for using methodologies developed by Israeli psychiatrists. Its founder, Faith Central Bible Church Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, is a friend of LL Cool J, who served as an honorary host of the event.

I'm not at all surprised that LL has been getting more involved with the Jewish community, Black-Jewish relations, and that he expressed interest in visiting Israel soon. I had the chance to shmooze with him a few years ago and he told me then that he was hoping to get to Israel soon.

LL Cool J even offered a "L'chayim" greeting to me on video:

Here is the complete interview with the Jewish Journal:

Jewish Journal [JJ]: Why are you here tonight?

LL Cool J [LLCJ]: I think that it is important, I just love everything that the institute stands for. I’m a member of his [Bishop Kenneth Ulmer’s] church and you know, I just think it makes sense to me, some things just make sense. You know, trauma is something we deal with everyday especially where I come from [Queens, New York], I mean growing up I dealt with it myself, it hits home, it hits close to me personally, I’ve seen some really traumatic events in my life, so I can relate and I think it’s important.

JJ: Including Hollywood.

LLCJ: Nah, nah, Hollywood, if you can deal with rejection you can deal with Hollywood, Hollywood is not really traumatic, but when you are in the inner city in Queens and you’ve seen some of the things I’ve seen, believe me this makes sense, it’s needed.

JJ: Speak about the importance of Black and Jewish relationships.

LLCJ: All my life right from when I started music with Rick Rubin, my little friend when I was growing up, one of my best friends, Richie, all the way to when I made my first, we started Def Jam with Rick Rubin, when Adam Horovitz [of the Beastie Boys] played my demo tape for Rick and he gave me my break I always been connected I always had Jewish friends, I always had people in my life that were Jewish and it was always a big part of everything I did, my first 8-by-10, my first photos, the photographers, from Glen E. Friedman, I can go on and on and on and on and on, about the different Jewish friends I’ve had and it’s always been natural for me, but see I’m from New York maybe it’s not fair for me to talk about that because it’s real naturally normal to me to have Jewish friends, it’s just part of it, my grandfather was from the Bronx he came home with gefilte fish every week I mean, I didn’t like it, no disrespect, but I loved him, it wasn’t my thing, but I always had great Jewish friends, always, they’ve been good to me, they’ve been good to me in my life too, even my agents, and that kind of seems stereotypical but I’m even talking about non-executive types, like Rick, who was a producer and Lyor Cohen who was a concert promoter and my friends Mark and Eugene, in New York, who own restaurants, creative guys, just always been there, it’s natural.

JJ: Have you ever been to Israel?

LLCJ: I haven’t. I was just talking to somebody about that I would love to go. I would love to go. I really would. I’ve never been but first time for everything, right?

JJ: What’s next for you?

LLCJ: I’ve been focused on my “Lip Sync Battle,” my television show and doing my tinkering with a little music here and there doing what I do.

JJ: Thank you, sir.

LLCJ: Much love, my man.

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