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LL Cool J to Launch Hip-Hop Inspired Apparel

The Rock the Bells line sees the rapper and actor turn into a fashion designer.

Rapper and actor James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J, has officially branched into another arena: fashion. Jan. 28 marks the launch of his limited-edition Rock the Bells fashion line, per WWD.

The line, whose name is inspired by the 1986 song of the same name, includes a collection of t-shirts, hoodies and jackets that celebrates the heritage of the hip-hop movement. Each piece is inspired by what LL Cool J considers the four pillars of hip-hop: break dancing, DJs, MCs and graffiti.

For example, medallions worn by Slick Rick, Kurtis Blow and Big Daddy Kane are featured on hoodies in the collection, while the fat cap t-shirt refers to the larger caps graffiti artists took from oven cleaners to get a wider arc for spray-painted creations.

Another favorite in the collection is the varsity jacket, emblazoned with the number 43, the number of his SiriusXM “Rock the Bells” radio station.

“It’s amazing,” he tells WWD. “It’s a classic jacket that has a nice blend of leather and cotton and has the number 43 on it, which is the number of the SiriusXM station. It reminds me of the original days when the Def Jam artists had jackets like that. That was a big part of the team-building and culture.”

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