LL COOL J: 'In times like this, this country needs leadership'

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·3 min read

One of the music industry’s biggest names is speaking out on the urgent need for change in an unsettled country in the final days before the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“I think that in times like this, the country needs leadership. I think leadership is key. You can’t walk around with a hammer and see every problem as a nail when the country needs heart surgery,” LL COOL J said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. “I think that this period has been probably as disruptive as the 1960 or even reconstruction — that period right after the Civil War.”

The Rock The Bells founder added, “I think it’s important to have a person running the country who understands how to communicate with those agree with him and those who don’t agree with them. That’s a skill. But it’s needed, right. In order to be the president or to be the leader of something, you have to be able to deal with all sides. You have to be able to see the big picture and hear people out. I think that’s what we are dealing with now is a kind of my way or the highway style. I don’t think that bodes well for the future unification of our country. In order to keep the country unified, you have to hear everybody out and inspire people. It’s not about pounding people. And I think that is the issue.”

Voters will shortly take to the polls (if they haven’t voted by mail already) with a lot on their minds before casting a ballot for President Trump or challenger former vice president Joe Biden.

People participate in a meditation walk in support of Black Lives Matter organized by the Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship near the Justice Center in Portland, Oregon, U.S., September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People participate in a meditation walk in support of Black Lives Matter organized by the Portland Buddhist Peace Fellowship near the Justice Center in Portland, Oregon, U.S., September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

For starters, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on. More than 8 million people in the country have been stricken with the disease, with 200,000-plus dying. Critics of the president — who recently battled COVID-19 —blame him for a patchwork response to the pandemic and continued downplaying of the health risks. The pandemic has upended the U.S. economy, costing thousands of jobs and creating uncertainty on the path forward.

Meanwhile, the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd by police have spurred protests across the country for months. The president, in the eyes of many, has only fanned the flames of systemic racism by giving nods to white supremacy on Twitter and belittling protestors during rallies.

Biden continues to lead in most polls on the view he will soothe an unsettled country in his first 100 days as president.

As for LL COOL J, he captured the current nationwide outrage with a two and a half minute freestyle rap on May 31 on Instagram about the Black Lives Matter movement. The music great, businessman, husband, father and now grandfather stops short of publicly endorsing a candidate in our interview, but doesn’t hide where his vote is likely to head.

“I think every election is important. I think that obviously this is definitely an inflection point for America,” LL COOL J said. “I think it's pretty obvious, you know, the way I'm leaning. Just because I just feel like things are too tense. I feel like there's too much negativity being encouraged. People got to vote for who they want to vote for. How I feel about it — I think we need a change.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

What’s hot from Sozzi:

Watch Yahoo Finance’s live programming on Verizon FIOS channel 604, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Samsung TV, Pluto TV, and YouTube. Online catch Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, and reddit.