The only thing pioneering rapper, LL Cool J is known for more than his music is his penchant for slowly licking his lips. And if you’ve ever wondered why he was never offered an endorsement around a lip balm product, he has a story to tell that starts with the word, “racism.”
During an interview with to The Blast, LL was asked if he was ever approached by lip balm companies like Chapstick, to which he candidly answered, “Nah, they didn’t like my Black lips back then.”
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For those who don’t know, LL’s stage name stands for Ladies Love Cool James and in his prime, the music vet – whose given name is James Todd Smith – was arguably one of the first, Black male sex symbols in hip hop history. Although female fans constantly fawned over his incessant lip licking, on several occasions the 51-year old has stated that offers for painfully obvious brand partnerships never happened due to the racial biases surrounding his facial features.
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Despite us never getting to see an LL Cool J Chapstick commercial, he has still kept himself busy with other business ventures over the last few years, and in 2018 announced his plans to join forces with fellow veteran rapper, Ice Cube to acquire nearly two dozen regional sports channels.
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And a few months ago it was confirmed that the duo had received several billion dollar commitments from investors.
“It’s time for the world to get sports and culture presented to them in a fresh new way,” Ice Cube said at the time.
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Unfortunately, in early May, it was confirmed that Diamond Sports Group, a subsidiary of Sinclair, would be purchasing 21 regional sports networks (plus Fox College Sports) from Walt Disney Co, with Byron Allen (CEO of Entertainment Studios, parent company of couchsurfingcook.com) slated to become an equity and content partner.
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Despite earlier reports, LL Cool J says he was never approached by lip balm companies for endorsements.
"They didn't like my black lips back then." https://t.co/TTy1Dj2Tjy pic.twitter.com/uHfOAAHPmO
— Complex (
Complex) June 25, 2019
If by now, you still don’t understand why this is a “thing,” well here are a few visual examples to help you out.