Eddie Van Halen is among the many guest musicians featured on LL Cool J 's upcoming album, Authentic , which hits stores on April 30. As previously reported, the guitar legend lends his talents to a pair of tunes on the rap star's record, "We're the Greatest" and "Not Leaving You Tonight," with the latter track also featuring indie-pop act Fitz and the Tantrums .
Van Halen says he initially was unsure about working with the hip-hop veteran, but quickly embraced the idea after meeting LL Cool J, with whom he quickly became friends.
"The thought of me playing guitar to hip-hop was definitely left of center, but I was intrigued and I agreed to meet and listen to what he had," explains Eddie. "I was not only inspired by the songs I heard, but LL's enthusiasm, his down-to-earth personality [and] the freedom he gave me to co-create."
Van Halen adds that his experience in the studio with LL "was like a breath of fresh air that I needed as an artist and an individual."
The guitar whiz had further praise for Authentic itself, noting that "The diversity of the songs on this album and the other artists [LL Cool J] has collaborated with is outstanding, appealing to multiple genres of music and maybe even creating a few of our own."
The rapper has plenty of mutual admiration for Van Halen. Explaining why he asked the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer to play on Authentic , he says, "This album was born out of my true love for music and I knew Eddie shared that same vision for authentic music."
Regarding the sessions, LL declares, "I was humbled to watch a genius at work and collaborate with such a legendary and visionary artist as Eddie Van Halen, and to bring our two worlds together was an exciting opportunity."
Authentic is available for pre-order now at Amazon.com and iTunes. Other guest artists featured on the album include Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker , Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello , Earth, Wind & Fire , legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins , rap superstar Snoop Dogg , Seal , country great Brad Paisley and Public Enemy frontman Chuck D .
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