A new LL Cool J statue in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the rapper/actor’s native Queens, New York pumps out the hip-hip icon’s legendary hits using solar power. The piece that was unveiled last month was crafted from bronze, resin, stainless steel, winterstone and wood by Queens-bred artist Sherwin Banfield and it depicts James Todd Smith in his trademark Kangol bucket hat and fat Cuban link chain, holding up a giant boombox loaded with a glowing cassette of his 1985 debut album, Radio.
The back of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s statue features a solar panel with the MC’s name on it as well as as relief figures on either side of a lion wearing a gold chain and, of course, a goat rocking a similar one. The piece is also emblazoned with the quote “If a task is once begun, never leave until it’s done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.”
LL paid a visit to the “G.O.A.T. Monument” recently, posing in front of the statue for a silent, masked selfie video. Artist Banfield posted a statement about the origin of the piece a few weeks ago, explaining that it all began when they got a call from someone praising his Jam Master Jay (RUN-DMC) piece and wondering if he might do the same for LL?
“A few days later we met at O’Connell Park in St. Albans where LL hosts his @thejumpandballfoundation annual community event. Darryl is a childhood friend of Todd and felt LL needed his own monument in his home town for all he has done for his community,” Banfield wrote. “I didnt need much convincing, I believed him and he believed in me. We talked about logistics for public sculpture then he went to work calling whom ever he believed could help support & fund this idea.”
Check out LL posing in front of his likeness and several views of the statue below.