Recap/Interview: LL Cool J & Simone I. Smith at Macy's
October 25th, 2014- On Saturday afternoon, hip-hop legend LL Cool J and his wife Simone I. Smith held an in-store jewelry presentation at the Herald Square Macy’s in New York City. Hundreds of fans flooded the jewelry floor at Macy’s causing pandemonium as the couple unveiled their fourth collection to date. Page 31 was on hand and interviewed both LL and Simone on their 19 years of marriage, the piece of jewelry LL brought Simone that won her heart, and the couple reacted to LL being left out of the Def Jam 30 Anniversary concert. LL even shared his plans to have his own anniversary show at the Barclays Center. Check out photos from the event and the full interview below.
Page 31: I want to start off by congratulating you guys on your 19th wedding anniversary. For both of you, what do you feel a man could get their wife from this latest SIS by Simone I. Smith collection?
Simone I. Smith: Thank You! 19th Wedding Anniversary? I would probably say, a Bengal, a pair of earrings, a lollipop, a ring! (Laughs)
Page 31: You gotta get the whole set huh (laughs).
Simone I. Smith: Yeap the whole set!
LL Cool J: (laughs) Just be merciful. That’s all I’m saying, just be merciful on the price tag. This is her thing. I’m not going to act like I know the ins and outs of her jewelry line but I know the fellas can rock the lollipops. I know that for a fact. Young ladies will definitely love the hoops and the bengals are crazy. Whatever you feel. [Below LL donned one attendee with the lolipop necklace off his own neck].
Page 31: It’s ironic to think of you guys having this line because way back when I know LL brought you a pair of doorknockers that won your heart over. What was your thought process when you purchased those earrings and when you received them?
Simone I. Smith: He actually brought me the triangle doorknockers. So when I got them, I was actually amazed, I thought I was fly because I was probably one of maybe three four girls at Bayside high that had a pair of them.
LL Cool J: (laughs) Yeah, yeah. I was just doing what every dude wanna do. I wanna get you this gift to make you nice and pliable and flexible for what you doing, and what’s gonna keep you on the home team (laughs). That’s how the gifts go, they’re from the heart but you know what I mean (laughs).
Simone I. Smith: You see I’m still home team right (Laughs).
Page 31: So aside from the Macy’s retail stores, what are some other avenues where you can purchase pieces from this new collection?
LL Cool J: You can go to Macys.com, you can go to SimoneISmith.com. There’s different price ranges. I like the Macy’s stuff. We do have some stuff that is more expensive but I’m a fan of the stuff that’s more affordable. I think it’s a little more real and you don’t gotta run around with a Rolls Royce on your neck.
Page 31: You don’t gotta recoup the jewelry if something goes wrong.
LL Cool J: (laughs) Yeah! You don’t gotta recoup your jewelry! Guys out here recouping Jewel—(laughs).
Simone I. Smith: It was important that we did a line that was affordable and Macy’s is a great retail store and partner and they carry so many of our pieces so were just so appreciative. There’s something for girls from ages 8 to 99.
Page 31: Before I let you go, I know you know LL better than anybody. I want to congratulate you because Def Jam just celebrated 30 years and you’re a big pillar of that. I know LL said it’s nothing personal that he wasn’t part of the Def Jam 30 concert, but do you feel like he should’ve been on that stage?
Simone I. Smith: Absolutely! Of Course. He was Def Jam’s first artist!
Page 31: So is he putting up a front, like did he really want to be on that stage?
Simone I. Smith: I think times have changed and Def Jam isn’t the old Def Jam Russel Simmons and Lyor Cohen and Kevin Lyles aren’t there. It’s new people. Sometimes the new folks don’t appreciate the people that actually built it. We all know my husband is the G.O.A.T.
LL Cool J: You know, let me tell you something. I’m not fronting man. For me it’s all about the people. That’s why I’ve never been the guy who focused on my chart position. I’ve never been the guy that made announcements about money or who I wrote for or what success I’m having. I wasn’t a part of that show but you know I’ll do something in New York. I’ll make an announcement in New York and I’ll celebrate 30 years. I’m not gonna turn my back on the people because I wasn’t included in something.. It is what it is. You can’t take it personal. I respect how my fans feel and I know they’re upset about that. I get that, and I respect it. Just because they didn’t recognize me, doesn’t mean I’m going to have a pity party. We’re gonna do something in New York and celebrate 30. Matter fact, will do it at the Barclays, and sell the joint out. And show them how it’s done. Will do it.
-Photos by Daniel J. Vasquez, Interview by Gregory Calvaire