(Photo Source: o4lonlinenetwork.com)

LL Cool J goes from music to fashion

Legendary rapper, turned actor, LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) is branching out into the world of fashion with a limited-edition collection of apparel and accessories called ”Rock the Bells.”

Launching on January 28, the line — titled by LL’s 1986 song of the same name — is inspired by what the artist who currently stars in the CBS series “NCIS: Los Angeles,” considers the four pillars of hip-hop: break dancing, MCs, DJs, and graffiti.

“We’re staying true to where the culture came from but reimagined for now,” he said to WWD.

“When I recorded Rock the Bells in 1986, my heroes were people who embraced and lived the four elements of hip-hop. Drop 1 honors that spirit, while looking through the lens of current culture.”

While there’s a team behind the collection, the rapper credits “the culture” for the design inspiration. “It’s true and real and we really lived it.”

In terms of what will be available for purchase (Drop 1 will be available on the Rock the Bells’ web site, where prices will range from $45 to $275) fans can expect everything from hoodies with the design of blingy medallions worn by Kurtis Blow, Sick Rick and Big Daddy Kane to a Fat Cap T-shirt, adorned with graffiti art.

As far as the designer’s favorite piece goes, he’s partial to the Rock the Bells x Roots varsity jacket. The piece is special to him because he wore a similar creation to the launch of a classic hip-hop channel on SiriusXM satellite radio that launched in 2018 – a feat that was several years in the making and that Cool J. feels partially responsible for the creation of the apparel line, as fans were yearning for more representation of the culture, which had been lacking.

“It’s amazing,” he says of the jacket. “It’s a classic jacket that has a nice blend of leather and cotton and has the number 43 on it, which is the number of the SiriusXM station. It reminds me of the original days when the Def Jam artists had jackets like that. That was a big part of the team-building and culture.”

The collection aims to provide hip-hop fans with a modern take on the looks that defined the original era of the cultural movement while preserving its infectious energy and authenticity.