LL Cool J‘s clothing line, Rock the Bells, launched a new collection this week called Hip Hop is Essential, and it signals the most extensive entry yet in Cool J’s three-year-old fashion label. The entry reflects a subtle-but-elevated approach to urban gear, and more clothing and accessories are on the way as the fall season nears.
“I used to rock streetwear all the time because it was comfortable and stylish,” the Queens, NY hip-hop legend said in a press release. “As my life has evolved, the current offerings don’t speak to my station in life. Today’s streetwear doesn’t always fit right and can be too hard to get. I wanted to create something that represents me: high quality, self-assured, versatile and comfortable.”
The introduction to the Hip-Hop is Essential lineup uses a lot of pastel colors, namely pink, yellow, and blue-green. The first wave of gear includes items like crewneck hoodies ($85), unisex tees ($40), and sweatpants ($75).
Women’s cropped T-shirts and tank tops are available for purchase as well ($35). The collection plans to have accessories such as towels, water bottles, and candles in the future, too.
The brand is also promoting a social media movement that asks, “Why is hip-hop essential to you?” After more than three-and-a-half decades since his first album Radio and becoming the first rapper to receive MTV’s Video Vanguard Award in 1997, Cool J was proud to be the first one to speak on the culture’s importance to him.
“Hip-hop is essential to me because it changed my life and it changed the destiny of my family,” Cool J expressed on RTB’s IG page. “[It] helped me make a better life for my kids. [It] helped me travel around the world, I got to see the world, got to make a contribution to the planet, I think, and help lift up other people and change their lives for the better. So many reasons [that] hip-hop is essential, man.”
Use the hashtag #hiphopisessential on Instagram or Twitter, and tell the story of why the culture means so much to you. Also, check out the gallery below to see some of the collection’s upcoming looks for Fall 2021.