LL COOL J says that The Notorious B.I.G. and Rick Ross having sampled him solidified his legacy as a “true artist.” The legendary rapper explained why he feels this is the case during an interview with Big Boy’s Neighborhood. Biggie’s 1997 track “Going Back to Cali,” samples LL COOL J’s song of the same name, while Rick Ross’ 2006 song, “I’m Bad,” also samples an LL COOL J song of the same name. Ross also sampled “I Need Love” for 2010’s “Aston Martin Music.”
“I love it,” he said when asked about Biggie’s Life After Death song. “I used to play it all the time, I loved it. Going going, back back, to Cali. I love it. He name-dropped me. I mean, Rick Ross did ‘I’m Bad’ over on one of his albums early on, that’s part of it.”
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He continued: “Look, being used as source material is the stamp of you being a true artist. When other artists use you as source material. You know what I’m saying? When they use you for inspiration, that’s showing that you’ve really touched the world. And the beauty of it is, is when you really know it’s deep is when other people don’t even know that they’ve utilized you for source material. So I can sit there and watch a kid listening to ‘Going Back to Cali’ by Biggie and just sit there and say to myself, ‘Wow, I did that.’ That’s an incredible feeling because there’s something beautiful about the fact that you inspired another artist and they’re touching fans with utilizing you as inspiration.”
The interview comes as LL COOL J prepares to embark on his F.O.R.C.E. Tour. For his first arena tour in 30 years. he’ll be teaming up with The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and DJ Z-Trip. The shows will run all over North America from June through September.