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Eddie Van Halen Says Working with LL Cool J Was "a Breath of Fresh Air"

Image courtesy of Image Courtesy Eddie Van Halen via Twitter (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Image Courtesy Eddie Van Halen via Twitter (via ABC News Radio)

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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