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Hip-hop legend LL Cool J‘s career has stood the test of time, and the Queens-raised rapper was honored by his hometown for his pioneering contributions to the music industry. A statue created to pay homage to the emcee—whose real name is James Todd Smith—was recently unveiled in New York, Revolt reported.

The sculpture dubbed “Going Back to The Meadows, A Tribute to LL Cool J and Performance at FMCP” is nestled inside Flushing Meadows-Corona Park at the David Dinkins Circle. Created by artist Sherwin Banfield, the statute is a commemorative ode to Smith’s artistry.

The piece of poignant public art was constructed using bronze, resin, stainless steel, winter stone, wood and other materials. It captures the rapper’s likeness, complete with his iconic Kangol bucket hat and holding a boombox, including a cassette tape of his 1985 debut album “Radio.”

“I am proud to present my latest & most ambitious public sculpture,” Banfield wrote in an Instagram post. “A Sculptural Sonic Monument dedicated to the legacy of Queens Hip-Hop legend @llcoolj, his native Queens NY and historical performances at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. This Monument is also known as The G.O.A.T. Monument. Over the course of this installation, parts of the steel structure will naturally rust by the elements of Queens @coronapark, a metaphor for the Queens neighborhoods having a profound impact on Cool J. Also, different audio playlists by friends and fans of LL will be activated.”

Smith took to social media to express his gratitude for the piece of art. “Anything is possible,” he posted.

With a career that stretches nearly 40 years, Smith has hit several milestones, including garnering two Grammy awards and ten successive multi-platinum albums. The sculpture is slated to be on display in the park through November 2022 and was supported by New York City Parks and Recreation, the Queens Council on the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Leon Speakers and other organizations. The sculpture’s unveiling comes on the heels of LL Cool J’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction.


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