The 40th Kennedy Center Honors took place on Sunday night. With President Donald Trump choosing not to attend, the program was able to go forward without any possible impending political drama. Among those honored were Norman Lear, dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade, musicians Lionel Richie and Gloria Estefan and rapper and actor LL Cool J.
Adding to the amazingness honor, LL Cool J also became the first rapper to be honored as well as the youngest recipient at age 49. LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith spoke on the evening calling it "an amazing, amazing moment."
He went on to say that there were many deserving rappers and performers from his generation, but he wouldn't go so far as to say that anybody deserved the honor over him.
"I'm humble, but I'm not going to play pseudo-humble," he said before the program. "I'm the one!"
He later took to Instagram, further expressing his gratitude.
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 1212 Let’s ride!! 🎤 #KCHonors #StateDepartmentDinner #hiphop
“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,” LL wrote.
This is an amazing win for hip-hop culture as a whole and a well-deserved honor.
The 40th annual ceremony will air on CBS Dec. 26 at 9 pm EST.