Wednesday, January 19, 2022

New LL Cool J statue in Queens knocks you out

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In one of his classic singles, LL Cool J once raped, “I can’t live without a radio.”

There may not even be a new statue of the hip-hop legend born in Queens, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. In fact, James Todd Smith’s birthday artist monument is designed not just for the show, but to perform rock hits throughout the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame using solar energy.

“Radio is his first album, so it’s recorded in the statue,” said Shervin Banfield, a 45-year-old Astorian sculptor from the rapper’s 1985 debut song LP.

“You have a Kangol hat; you got young, strong features on your face. And she wore a Cuban binding chain from the cover of the album “Mama Said Knock You Out”.

LL Cool J, who lives in Queens, was immortalized in a new statue by Shervin Banfield.

The statue is located within the David Dinkins, not far from the statue of Arthur Ashe at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center, at the site of the U.S. Open.

“It’s in the company of Arthur Ashe and David Dinkins,” Banfield said, noting that it is also located near Louis Armstrong Stadium. “It’s black-and-white.”

The creation of the Banfield LL statue was inspired in 2018 by the release of Run-DMC’s Jam Master Jay, a tribe called Quest’s Phife Dog, and Mobb Deep’s Prodigy monuments, who also performed music from evening rap icons. At the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island.

“It was my first introduction to the idea of ​​preserving our hip-hop culture, which I think is necessary,” he said.

Sculptor Shervin Banfield and his new LL Cool J statue
Sculptor Shervin Banfield poses in front of the new LL Cool J statue in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

After the success of The Code in Queens, he said, “One of Jem Master Jay’s older friends contacted me and said,‘ Listen, I’m from Hollis, Queens, I grew up with LL, and I think LL should do the same. have [a statue] created for him. ”

In September 2019, after receiving funding to start work on a sculpture in the studio area of ​​Governors Island, Banfield found a suitable home for his work in Queens.

“There was an open call from the New York City Department of Gardens that said, ‘Hey, we have the opportunity for artists from Queens to showcase their work at Flushing Meadows Park for a year,'” he said. “And I thought this was the best place to put the statue.”

The back of Shervin Banfield’s new LL Cool J statue at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
The back of Shervin Banfield’s new LL Cool J statue at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Made of bronze, stainless steel, and a material called Winterstone – “it makes it look like stone,” Banfield explained – the sculpture took on a modern look by adding solar panels.

“To convert sunlight into electricity, you need solar panels, and solar panels get the electricity inside the statue. [where] you have an energy-saving battery, ”Banfield said. “And that battery is used to power the speaker and the small amplifier inside.”

LL Cool J in 1987
LL Cool J chose his Kangol trademark in 1987.

Music should be uninterrupted on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm to noon. And so far this is a big hit among visitors to the park.

“I get messages from people who have visited me and identified me,” Banfield said. “Some people stumble upon it,” he said [when] they run across the park and they say, “Wow. When did you get here?

“Cold people aren’t stopping to see him. Because people love LL Cool J.

Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J perform.
Jennifer Lopez and LL Cool J perform at the entrance to the 36th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in October 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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