LL Cool J, an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors this December, sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an episode of Oprah’s Master Class to talk about his music and TV career and his secrets to his success.
In this exclusive clip, he reminisces about working with Jay Philpot, aka DJ Cut Creator, and Rick Rubin. Philpot recognized LL Cool J’s nascent rap talent when he was only 13 and would ask LL Cool J to perform with him. “I told him, yo, you’ve got to ask my grandmother…,” LL Cool J says before going into a sweet, funny imitation of his grandmother.
His work with Philpot helped him hone his skills and draw the attention of Def Jam co-founder/producer Rubin. “They used to always think I was lying,” LL Cool J says of Philpot and his buddies,who refused to believe that Rubin was courting LL Cool J. Their denial led to LL Cool J continuing on as a solo artist, as the clip reveals.
LL Cool J’s episode of Oprah’s Master Class airs Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. Also coming up this season are episodes highlighting Usher and Gladys Knight.