Rapper LL Cool J is on a mission to bring the creation of music to the next level.
The multi-platinum hip-hop veteran, who has released 12 studio albums, hosted the 54th Annual Grammy Awards earlier this year and has a recurring role on the CBS crime drama “NCIS: Los Angeles,” recently announced the launch of his new virtual studio recording software, My Connect Studio.
The technology allows artists to experience a studio session in real-time through the Internet, even if they are in two different locations in the world. The cultural pioneer has collaborated with Sony through his music social networking site Boomdizzle, launched in 2008, to bring the product to life.
LL says currently many artists are e-mailing tracks back-and-forth, which delays the creative process, but with his product that issue is solved.
“They’ll [producers] e-mail me the track,” he shares. “I’m e-mailing vocals. They don’t like something, I’m sending it back. We’re going back and forth and doing this dance. A lot of music is being created that way right now. What I wanted to do is be able to create music in real-time.”
On Wednesday (June 20), LL Cool J demonstrated how the product works for a room full of excited fans at the Sony store in New York City. The rapper’s friend played a track from across town as LL recorded lyrics over the beat. With the program, they were able to immediately play the recording back for everyone to hear. He also brought on an audience member to record and test out the product as well.
Through My Connect Studio, the 44-year-old entertainer wants to connect artists who have never met, allowing them to collaborate with a community of other artists and producers. The product will also utilize social media with popular networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
“You may get with a kid from London, you may get with a kid from Paris simply because you went on the site and visited the lobby and met somebody and went into a session and started creating. So this is the next level of music creation,” LL states.
As a young Queens teen first discovering hip-hop and beginning his career in New York City, LL says connecting with other artists or showcasing his music wasn’t a convenience.
“Back then, the closest thing you could get to this was a block party,” he admits. “That was like the only way someone else was going to hear your music unless it was on the radio.”
LL also revealed that he is using My Connect Studio to record tracks for an upcoming album.
“I’m going to be doing a little bit of the album on the studio, make sure that it is official,” the MC discloses. “And as a matter of fact I started on my album too. It’s authentic hip-hop, it’s the business.”
Even with embracing technological developments, LL made it clear that maintaining hip-hop culture is most important. He brought on DJ Grandmaster Flash to spin records at the event so that he could continue bridging the past, present and future of the genre.
“Grandmaster Flash is one of the foundations and pillars of hip-hop culture. And that was the whole point,” LL says. “I really wanted to show people how far the culture has come. I don’t want to go do the Sony thing and leave the culture behind. I want to bring the culture with me.”