James Todd Smith, also known as LL Cool J became the first rapper to ever receive an award from the Kennedy Center. Smith said of the award, “I believe that we are built to do anything we put our minds and proper actions to. You have all the tools inside you that are required for you to fulfill your GOD given purpose. This one is for those who came before me and those who followed me. We were sent to this planet to love and inspire one another. Manifest our dreams and make them a reality. I hope you’re inspired by me because I’m absolutely inspired by you. Mic check 1-2-1-2 Let’s ride!!”
LL is a very decorated an accomplished actor and musician who also just graduated from Harvard Business School. This year’s Kennedy Center Honors recipients also included Gloria Estefan, Lionel Richie and Norman Lear. Unlike years past, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump did not participate in the Kennedy Center Honors yesterday. The ceremony airs Dec. 26, at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.