LL Cool J Defends Beyoncé Black Panther Super Bowl Performance, Compares Her to Bob Dylan

Getty, Reuters
Getty, Reuters

Actor, rapper, and Lip Sync Battle host LL Cool J defended Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance of the politically charged song, Formation, backed by dancers dressed as Black Panthers, saying “There’s always been some element of counterculture that has existed in music.”

“Ever since Bob Dylan,” LL Cool J said, “there’s always been some element of counterculture that has existed in music. That’s always going to be there. They didn’t show Elvis from the waist down. Really think about that.”

Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance of the controversial song was criticized by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said Beyoncé “used it as a platform to attack police officers, who are the people who protect her and protect us and keep us alive.”

The video for the song included scenes showing the singer sitting on a sinking police car. Another scene shows a graffitied wall with the words “Stop Shooting Us,” as a row of riot gear clad cops are seen raising there’s hands, à la “Hands Up. Don’t Shoot.”

The singer’s performance also received praise from Black Lives Matter and Malcolm X’s daughter.

But in recent weeks, as Breitbart New reports, backlash toward Beyoncé is building:

An online campaign to boycott Beyoncé and her music has picked up steam since the pop star performed a controversial tribute to the Black Panthers during the Super Bowl halftime show on Sunday.

Social media users have been using the hashtag #BoycottBeyonce in response to the halftime show performance, which many, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, viewed as an overt attack on police officers.

LL Cool J, who’s hosting the 58th Annual Grammy Awards on Monday, praised Beyoncé’s song for bringing awareness to sensitive subjects.

“If you don’t raise the issue you can never bridge it. Music it can bring change or bring the possibility of change through dialogue,” he said.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.