--LL COOL J to Essence magazine on the biggest misconception folks have about him and the craziest rumor he's ever heard about himself.
AFTER THE JUMP, FIND OUT HOW HIS FAMILY PLAYED A PART IN HIS DECISION TO PARTNER WITH SEARS TO LAUNCH A NEW CLOTHING LINE.
"I did the Sears deal because I was able to work with my family. My wife, kids and some additional models market the whole brand. Most people asked why I chose to partner with Sears because they felt I'm at a certain level in my career and I should go to a higher-end retailer. But what people should know about me is that I don't live my life trying to be an elitist. I'm part of the community not above it so I'm going to embrace the real community not my rich friends. When I was growing up we bought clothes from Sears. I know a zillion people who can't afford $700 jeans but they still want to look and feel good so why wouldn't I embrace a Sears?
[The collection] should be in stores for July to prepare for back-to-school season in September and should be in about 450 stores. We will launch again in about November and eventually be in about 2500 stores. It's the biggest deal and the first time in hip-hop culture that an artist of my magnitude has done anything like this. It's a great statement. My family and I really are pleased with the designs which will only get better. With the female collection we were more concerned with getting the fit right than the designs because with women it's all about the right fit."
--LL COOL J on why he made the decision to launch a new affordable clothing line with Sears.