LL Cool J Interview: ‘Lip Sync Battle’
“We’ve just been having a lot of fun,” declares LL Cool J about the continued success of “Lip Sync Battle.” This Paramount Network series pits celebrities against each other as they lip sync to various songs, and it’s up to the audience to choose a winner. LL Cool J serves as a producer, in addition to co-hosting alongside Chrissy Teigen, and this summer the show received its third consecutive Emmy nomination for Best Structured Reality Program. Watch our exclusive video interview with LL Cool J above.
The appeal, he believes, comes from the fact that no one involved takes it too seriously. “The scenario is so ridiculous that you enjoy it,” he explains. “This is an opportunity for people who may be accomplished in other fields to be a rock star for a night, to come out, hang out, have fun, and go crazy.”
Now in its fourth season, “Lip Sync Battle” has continued to up the ante by adding “a little more production value to give the guest stars an opportunity to do whatever they want.” The show has also been known to pay tribute to artists like Michael Jackson and Christina Aguilera, so LL Cool J would like to do one for the late soul singer Aretha Franklin. He met Franklin at Bill Clinton‘s presidential inauguration, and “she was so spectacular, so special, and such a wonderful artist. So it would be great to just have people out there having fun and paying tribute to her music.”
LL Cool J won two Grammys for Best Rap Solo Performance for “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1992) and “Hey Lover” (1997), and hosted the ceremony five consecutive years (2012-2016). He also became the first rapper to receive a Kennedy Center Honor in 2017.
“Lip Sync Battle” started as a recurring segment on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” brainstormed by John Krasinski, his wife Emily Blunt and Stephen Merchant. Krasinski, Merchant, and LL Cool J are all Emmy nominees as producers of the series.