Monday, April 17, 2023

Hip-hop Legend LL Cool J's Platform, Rock the Bells, Secures $15M in Funding

Rock the Bells, the hip-hop platform founded by rap legend LL Cool J, announced on Monday a $15 million funding round anchored by a multi-year collaboration with media giant Paramount Global.

The deal includes a first-look agreement for unscripted and scripted content, feature films and co-branded merchandise opportunities.

Additionally, the two companies will collaborate on marketing support for Rock the Bells experiences and activations, including the opportunity to livestream the upcoming 2023 Rock The Bells Festival that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.

LL Cool J expressed his excitement about the partnership in a statement, saying that hip-hop is an art form that "continues to rise to higher heights," and that Rock the Bells is at the forefront of bridging generations.

"I'm excited about all the amazing things we have planned for the community, fans, and brands! This is just the beginning," he added.

Founded in 2018 by LL Cool J, Rock the Bells has become a prominent platform for celebrating and preserving hip-hop culture. With a focus on the art form and its icons, Rock the Bells has gained a loyal following and attracted major brands as partners.

The partnership with Paramount Global is expected to open up new opportunities for Rock the Bells to showcase hip-hop culture and its icons while continuing to honor its legacy.

"Paramount is thrilled to expand our deep relationship with LL COOL J with our investment in Rock The Bells," said Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events at Paramount. "We look forward to working with him to shine a spotlight on Hip-Hop culture and icons through music, events, and diverse content."

Other companies that participated in the Series B funding round, a type of investment round where a company seeks to raise capital to scale and expand its business operations, were Raine Ventures and Irving Azoff of Iconic Artists Group, with participation from Amex Ventures, Wildcat Capital Management and Capstar Ventures. The company also received additional investment from ASK Capital, North Island (Glenn Hutchins), AME Cloud Ventures and XO Capital.

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