CLEVELAND, Ohio - This past Sunday, LL Cool J became the first rapper celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors.
For hip-hop fans, it's not all that surprising. With his metioric rise in the mid 1980s, James Todd Smith emerged as rap's first solo superstar. But that hasn't meant much when it comes to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Despite being nominated four times since becoming eligible for the Rock Hall in 2009, LL has sat by while hip-hop acts like N.W.A. and Tupac Shakur have earned induction.
That could change on Dec. 13 when the inductees for the Class of 2018 are announced. LL Cool J's Kennedy Center Honor could be just the boost he needs with Rock Hall voters.
But does it guarantee him induction? The quick answer is no.
All you have to do is look at another one of this year's Kennedy Center Honorees in Lionel Richie, who has never even been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This year is a big year for LL Cool J when it comes to the Rock Hall. He has no competition on the ballot in terms of hip-hop artists with huge rap acts of the 1990s - Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Eminem, etc. - set to arrive in the coming years.
It may be a now or never proposition for LL and the Rock Hall. But as we get closer to the annual announcement, his chances seem better and better....Read more