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LL Cool J to launch new SiriusXM classic hip-hop channel

Bay Shore native LL Cool J is set

Bay Shore native LL Cool J is set to launch "Rock The Bells Radio," a new classic hip-hop channel for SiriusXM, on March 28. Credit: Peter Yang

LL Cool J plans to launch “Rock the Bells Radio” on SiriusXM Wednesday to bring more attention to classic hip-hop artists.

“There are so many artists who are the foundation of this culture,” the Bay Shore native told The Associated Press. “But it seems like they have been marginalized and pushed to the side if they’re no longer on the pop charts. I felt like hip-hop has a story and a lot of founding fathers and mothers that the world should know. . . . People know Run-DMC and myself, but there were people before us.”

On the channel named after his groundbreaking hit “Rock the Bells” (on SiriusXM Ch. 43), LL Cool J plans to feature songs from hip-hop’s classic age on the channel and interviews with the artists who created them, including fellow Strong Island legends such as Public Enemy and Eric B. & Rakim.

“I felt like classic hip-hop needed some leadership,” said LL Cool J, who plans to kick off the channel with a live broadcast from a Los Angeles roller skating rink at 10 p.m. Wednesday. “It needed some organization. It needed somebody to step up and say, ‘Hey, this music is dope, people love it and want to hear it.’ But it has to be presented in a dope way and treated with the respect that it deserves.”

Scott Greenstein, Sirius XM’s president and chief content officer, said that having LL Cool J on board will help make the company’s classic hip-hop coverage more compelling.

“LL will be taking SiriusXM listeners on a hip-hop journey that can’t be found anywhere else,” Greenstein said in a statement. “For listeners looking for the origins and influences of today’s burgeoning hip-hop culture, they need only turn to LL Cool J’s ‘Rock the Bells Radio’ to hear it. LL will make the channel feel as current and alive as today’s music with stellar presentation, surprising programming choices, and new cuts from classic artists.”

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