Van Halen: Hip-hop is breath of fresh air
Eddie Van Halen says his collaboration with hip-hop star LL Cool J was exactly what he needed as a musician.
The guitar icon appears on two tracks of Authentic, due out on April 30 – and on one of those, We’re The Greatest, he managed to persuade Cool J to sing. Hear a clip from the work below.
Van Halen tells GuitarWorld: “The thought of me playing guitar to hip hop was definitely left of centre – but I was intrigued and I agreed to meet and listen to what he had.
“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.”
After working on We’re The Greatest, which also features Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, Van Halen hopes he’s been involved in the start of something new. He says: “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.”
Cool J feels the collaborators struck the right note. “I approached this song with the upmost respect for Eddie and his fans, and became friends with him through the process,” he says.
“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.”