LL Cool has a lesson on authentic hip-hop planned for the SXSW Music Festival.
The veteran rapper enlists Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Doug E. Fresh to share a concert bill with him on March 14 at a Doritos-sponsored event in Austin, Texas.
“Authentic is my whole focus on my new album,” he says in an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Music. “I feel like Public Enemy, Ice Cube and Doug E. Fresh are all authentic. Not to say that no artists in the new era are authentic but these are just some guys that I feel people haven’t seen on stage in a long time. I’ve been out there and bleed when they’ve beaten up the stage.”
The interactive show will allow fans to control special effects via Doritos' 56-foot tall vending machine. Fans viewing the live stream on the Doritos Facebook page, can affect LL’s set list and share photos using the hashtag #BoldStage.
As part of Doritos’ “For The Bold” hip-hop talent search, an up and coming rap artist will have a dream opportunity to open up for the legends at the festival.
Pittsburgh rapper Devin Miles, Australian alternative MC Seth Sentry and California Bay Area-bred rapstress Snow Tha Product will compete for the chance to be the opening act. The winner will be determined by reaction via Twitter.
LL advises the contenders to make their art their focus. “Don’t get out there because you want to have an opportunity to run around with fancy rings on,” he says. “You got to really are about the craft. Anybody can wrangle up some kinda little single with a chorus and put a chain on their neck. But if you want to last and have a career you have to care about it.”
The “NCIS” actor says it is tougher for artists to get discovered today than it was when he signed his first recording deal more than 20 years ago. “It’s easier from them to be heard [today] but harder for them to break through all the noise,” he says. “Whereas before it was harder to get in but once you got it it was easier to be heard because it wasn’t as many people.”