LL Cool J Reflects on Eddie Van Halen's 'Pure Artistry' During Their Collaboration

This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

LL Cool J is looking back fondly on his time collaborating with the late Eddie Van Halen. Following Van Halen's death due to cancer on Tuesday, the 52-year-old rapper remembered working on two tracks -- "Not Leaving You Tonight" and "We're the Greatest" -- with the late rocker.

"I was always blown away by his ability to play the guitar. I thought it was so dope, so I wanted to work with him," LL Cool J told Rock the Bells in a statement. "I got in touch with him. He came by the studio, we talked, we kicked it. One thing led to another, and we made a couple of songs."

Both of the songs that the pair collaborated on appeared on LL Cool J's 2013 album, Authentic, which also featured appearances from Snoop Dogg, Earth, Wind & Fire, Travis Barker, Brad Paisley and more.

"Authentic was one of those projects where I took the gloves off. I did all kinds of crazy music, all kinds of collaborations, and different genres," LL Cool J recalled. "I remember reading a critic's writing: 'Yo, this guy forgot he's a rapper. I felt like, 'Yo, I didn't forget I was a rapper. I just remembered I'm an artist.' I went after it that way."

"I think it's some of my coolest and most interesting work," he continued. "I think those songs that Eddie and I did together are really special. I think that one day, they will rise. They will get the recognition and the admiration that they deserve."

As for what he'll remember about the late rocker, LL Cool J pointed to his "humility and his willingness to share his talent."

"That was a beautiful thing," he said. "That man came in the studio with me at a time when, creatively, I was trying to get my sea legs and trying to figure out what to do, and how I wanted to do it. It wasn't like I was on the top of the Billboard charts, and he was looking for some kind of hot collaboration. It was just pure artistry, and I respected that about him."


Valerie Bertinelli Pays Tribute to Ex-Husband Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen, Guitarist and Van Halen Founder, Dead at 65

Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65: Sammy Hagar, KISS & More Pay Tribute

Related Gallery