Eddie Van Halen Enjoyed Working With LL Cool J

Guitarist discusses his ongoing LL Cool J collaboration, saying that the news songs have inspired him.

Ultimate Guitar

Although combining rock and hip-hop music can't be described as revolutionary these days, the latest collaboration between LL Cool J and Eddie Van Halen did seem like an odd one at first.

The duo joined forces on LL's upcoming new release "Authentic," set for a release on April 30 via S-Bro Music Group. One of the new tracks, titled "We're the Greatest," was recently stream online, giving fans an insight of what they are to expect from LL Cool J workshop. Co-written and co-produced by LL and Van Halen, the track also features drummer Travis Baker of Blink 182.

Despite the rapper being confident that the collaboration is the winning ticket from the very start, it seems that the guitar icon had his share of doubts at first, but has changed his opinion completely upon meeting LL.

"The thought of me playing guitar to hip hop was definitely left of center, but I was intrigued and I agreed to meet and listen to what he had," Van Halen tells the Guitar World. "I was not only inspired by the songs I heard, but LL's enthusiasm, his down-to-earth personality, the freedom he gave me to co-create and his willingness to, for the very first time, sing the chorus on "We're the Greatest." It was like a breath of fresh air that I needed as an artist and an individual."

The guitarist went on to comment that the album's diversity is "outstanding," adding that he feels blessed for the opportunity he was given.

"The diversity of the songs on this album and the other artists he has collaborated with is outstanding, appealing to multiple genres of music and maybe even creating a few of our own. I feel blessed to not only have had the opportunity to work with LL but also to call him a great friend."

As for LL, the rapper has already stated that the reason behind contacting Van Halen is simply the fact that he "wanted the best." He has now added that he was "humbled to watch a genius at work," calling Van Halen a legendary and visionary artist.

"This album was born out of my true love for music and I knew Eddie shared that same vision for authentic music. I approached this song with the utmost respect for Eddie and his fans, and became friends with him through the process. I was humbled to watch a genius at work and collaborate with such a legendary and visionary artist as Eddie Van Halen, and to bring our two worlds together, was an exciting opportunity. I am thrilled he was up for the ride."

Another rock giant set to appear on "Authentic" is Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello. The album itself will mark the 13th release in LL Cool J's catalogue, the first one since 2008's "Exit 13."

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37 comments sorted by best / new / date

    bad, sounds like me in my bedroom on my 15w marshall
    BAD does not begin to describe what I just heard....and poor Eddie....always trying to find relevance for himself when all he has to do is just start writing music again.....
    Please correct the title of this article to LL Cool "J" not LL Cool "Jay". Thank you
    I like it! We'll see how it goes!
    Yeah I liked it as well, since the last article I checked LL's stuff and its pretty good. So I'll def give this album a listen to.
    When is some one of the younger generation going to rise up and show us his/her stuff and move us out of this rap/pop dominated music scene and give us some real music to listen to again...rap is old and its time for its replacement....
    I'm not that prejudiced, but I think it mught have sounded much better than this.
    I would imagine that it will sound better than this studio clip on youtube. Give it a bit, let them tighten everything up.
    Tone sucks ass, but that honestly wasn't that bad. People need to open their minds.
    LL Cool J is one of the few rappers out there that still deserves respect. his raps here are amazing. but eddie, what the hell is with that tone?!
    Nice to see that all those years of boozing and smoking didn't take their toll on Eddie. Wait, what?.....
    I don't have the strength to hit the play button and listen to this travesty. My fellow UGer's reactions are all I need.
    ^"I don't want to have an opinion or judgement of my own so I'm just going to agree with what everyone else says." Do you seriously not have the 2 minutes in your life to at least watch the video?
    Nevermind all this when is the new Van Halen Album coming out that Melodicrock.com got us all so excited about feck sake??
    Eddie used to be the best guitar player LL! 2-3 decades ago.
    Now Eddie has to stay in that studio and give us a brand new Van Halen album. ADKOT was great but still 90 % of the material were recycled songs from 70's and from 2000's secret Roth's return to the band.
    im a big fan of van halen ,almost everything i heard in his albums its good music for me but this is BULLSHIT
    It took me a couple times to listen too, but in all retrospect its not that bad. The tone of EVH could of been better IMO, but it's EVH he can sound how ever the hell he wants too.
    The guitar tone is meh, but everyone should be happy that Dave announced that Van Halen has "risen from the ashes" and is now back to rehearsing. Plus, let the guy do what he wants in music. Its his career, if he wants to try different things out, let him.
    gotta love that classic van halen sound but what the hell happened here?! its not bad but could have been much better if it wasnt for that guitar tone