After a 2 year hiatus, veteran LL Cool J is gearing up for the release of Exit 13, his 13th and final LP under his Def Jam recording deal.
Unlike his other albums, the FarmerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Boulevard legend has worked closely with another Queens native, rapper 50 Cent.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I did a whole album with 50, I did an album by myself, then I went and did another album by myself,Ã¢â‚¬Â LL disclosed to AllHipHop.com. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I decided to use like two or three songs from the album I did with 50, one from the second album I did by myself, and the rest is all new material.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Some have expressed concern that LL may pattern himself after 50Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s more successful albums, such a Get Rich or Die TryinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, a claim the MC quickly denied.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Watching him work made me hungry again, but it was also important for me to come out with an LL Cool J album that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sound like IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m trying to be 50 Cent,Ã¢â‚¬Â LL clarified. Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not doing that.Ã¢â‚¬Â
LL also dismissed rumors that he was attempting to sign to G-Unit over his dissatisfaction with Def JamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s promotion of his last album.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There were a lot of, for lack of a better word, doe-does out there that were like Ã¢â‚¬ËœLL is going to sign to G-Unit,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â the veteran laughed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what these guys were thinking. Why would I work for 20 years to sign to another artist? I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know where the stupidness came from. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think they understand who theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re dealing with and the reason why IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m here.Ã¢â‚¬Â
LL openly criticized former Def Jam president Jay-Z about his work in promoting rap albums on the label.
Now with a new regime, he feels rap projects including his own, will get the attention they deserve.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Before Lyor and them left we did a deal and I got my full catalog. LL Cool J owns his whole body of work. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m very happy about the growth Def Jam has experienced,Ã¢â‚¬Â he revealed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now, do I feel the Hip-Hop side of the music needs more attention? Yes. I think Hip-Hop will be served more now that Shakir Stewart [new Def Jam Executive Vice President] is up there doing what he does. People are excited about Hip-Hop. People are excited about my project and I know itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to succeed.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Exit 13 is set for release on August 26.
The album features production from DJ Scratch, Tricky Stewart, and Raw Uncut.
Guests include KRS-One, Jim Jones, 50 Cent, LilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Kim, Trey Songz, The Dream, and Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi.