LL Cool J And Rakim Deliver Showstopping Tribute To DJ Marley Marl At BET Hip-Hop Awards
At the 2023 BET Hip-Hop Awards, which aired Oct. 10, legendary artists LL Cool J and Rakim took center stage for an electrifying performance paying tribute to the iconic hip-hop producer and pioneer DJ Marley Marl, who was honored with this year’s I Am Hip-Hop Award.
The performance, introduced by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, featured a montage showcasing Marley Marl’s profound contributions to the genre, as reported by Vibe.
Speaking to the audience at the BET Hip-Hop Awards and viewers tuning in from home, Marley Marl, 61, recounted the origins of his journey. It all began in New York on Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, Queensbridge. He dedicated the award to his late radio partner and fellow hip-hop luminary Mr. Magic.
The tribute performance was awe-inspiring. Accompanied by a live band featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff and Technician The DJ skillfully handling the turntables, Rakim and LL Cool J electrified the audience with a blend of their greatest hits crafted by Marley Marl. Rakim, with his iconic charisma, initiated the show with tracks such as “Eric B. Is President” and “Paid in Full.”
LL Cool J’s entrance, emerging from beneath the stage, elevated the show. The Queens-born rapper treated the audience to a set of classics that included songs like “Jingling Baby,” “Mr. Good Bar,” “Around the Way Girl,” “Mama Said Knock You Out,” and “Rock the Bells.” LL’s performance had the crowd on their feet, and even Marley Marl, seated in the audience, couldn’t resist dancing to the timeless beats of own his creations.
Hailing from the Queensbridge Projects in New York City, DJ Marley Marl is considered one of the architects of hip-hop’s sound in the late ’80s, crafting hits for some of the most significant artists of the decade, including LL Cool J and Rakim. Notably, he contributed to Rakim and Eric B’s iconic 1987 debut album, Paid in Full, and produced LL Cool J’s 1990 “comeback” album, Mama Said Knock You Out.
However, Marley Marl’s most enduring legacy lies in being a founding member of the legendary Juice Crew collective, which included Roxanne Shanté, MC Shan, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Masta Ace, Craig G, and others.