Whoever thought that hip-hop would take it this far?!
LL Cool J is a pioneer in hip-hop, a part of the second generation of rap artists to really take the genre global and establish it as a force to be reckoned with. In 2018, the veteran musician put his business hat on, launching Rock The Bells, a global platform focused on amplifying Hip-Hop culture and creating a bridge from its origins to the present day, AfroTech reports. Since then, the company has launched Rock The Bells Radio in partnership with SiriusXM, signed several licensing and merchandising partnerships, and continued its annual musical festival celebrating Hip-Hop. Now Rock The Bells has just secured $15 million in its latest Series B funding round.
“Rock The Bells has brand affinity that’s been built over time through consistency and authenticity. We hold our audience’s trust, and we grow together by asking them to be a part of everything we do. Our partners proudly support our work because it spans generations, cements a legacy, and continues to elevate Hip-Hop in a way that honors the art form and highlights it deservingly,” said Rock The Bells CEO James Cuthbert.
The funding was spearheaded by Raine Ventures, Irving Azoff of Iconic Artists Group, and Paramount Global. The company also partnered with Amex Ventures, Wildcat Capital Management, and Capstar Ventures. LL Cool J says the investment is a reminder of the impact of Hip-Hop and proof of what the culture can do.
“This Series B round is a reflection of the confidence that our investors have in Rock The Bells as a global platform. Hip-Hop is an art form that many people doubted from day one, but our culture continues to rise to higher heights! I’m honored that Rock The Bells is leading this resurgence of timeless Hip-Hop, while simultaneously bridging the generations. I’m so excited about all of the amazing things we have planned for the community, fans, and brands! This is just the beginning,” he said.
The company has also recently teamed up with Paramount Global, entering into a multi-year first-look deal that will see Rock The Bells delivering feature films, scripted and unscripted content under its banner. Paramount will also serve as a partner for experiences and activations, including the upcoming 2023 Rock The Bells Festival celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.
Congratulations Uncle LL!
Cover photo: LL Cool J’s “Rock The Bells” secures $15M series B funding to amplify hip-hop culture/Photo Courtesy of Peter Yang