No Country For Old Men: Ice Cube vs. The New West

One writer raises two questions: "Hasn't Ice Cube done enough for the west coast?" as well as "Are his blogs a publicity stunt?" Do the knowledge and you decide...

The views and opinions expressed in the following feature editorial are those expressly of the writer of this piece and do not necessarily reflect those of HipHopDX.

“Things just ain’t the same for gangstas / Times is changing, young niggas is aging / Becoming old G’s in the game and changing,” rapped Dr. Dre on the unknowingly prophetic “The Watcher.”

Wise words from an aged, wise man. Old gangstas are in a tight position, regardless of whether or not their importance to the game is maximal. Consumerist attention spans have been cut short by the broadband pace of the digital world, and pretty much any artist these days can carve a name for themselves by over-saturating the market and shoving their music down the public’s throats - even if their product is inferior.

And it’s precisely this reason that rappers from the olden days of yore are taking extreme measures to maintain the public’s interest. Flipping on the radio will give you a good sense of what’s popping these days, if you don’t already have your finger on the pulse of the blogosphere. Rappers with flimsy lyrics (but who are perfectly capable of slurring out catchy hooks) are about as omnipresent and consistently nagging as a new Gucci Mane mixtape. OG’s are at a turning point where they can either take the Ice-T and LL Cool J route by flexing their acting chops, or they can try to salvage the glory of the pre-Internet game, embrace digital and persevere (see: Jay-Z, Nas or even Common, who’s really managed to do both).

Falling into the latter group (specifically the Common branch) is Ice Cube, founding member of one of the most revolutionary, game-changing groups to ever do it. Not only has O’Shea Jackson had a fruitful acting career (if you consider Are We There Yet? fruitful), but he’s managed to spin off his stint as an N.W.A. soldier into having a brutally-successful solo career. Eight solo studio albums later and Cube’s got six albums that have gone platinum (in two cases, double platinum) and one that’s gone gold. But his first album that didn’t reach the gold mark was his last album, 2008’s Raw Footage, an effort hailed by critics but considered a commercial failure – at least by Cube’s standards.

Like most O.G.’s in the game, strategy at this point is everything. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Cube, no longer backed by the muscle of a major, has to learn to strategize on his own. Given the current state of the music industry, firing up ye ol’ laptop seems like the right idea for 90% of artists. But when you’re Ice Cube and sorely lack a connection to the online world, how do you get people to pay attention? Post haikus about working with Bow Wow on the upcoming film Lottery Ticket? Throw up pics from your 13th annual family reunion? Hell no. Ice Cube ain’t no sucka, and he knows how to make the public listen.

And so it all began with a blog post on Ice Cube’s official website (www.icecube.com), a sentence that, in itself, needs unpacking. Because let’s keep it real here: who actually frequents Ice Cube’s website on the regular? Is his site’s RSS feed included in your Google reader? Do you keep your finger on the west coast pulse by frequenting Cube’s site, bursting with pertinent info, on a daily basis? The choice for an established artist like Ice Cube to air his grievances with the Rap game on his blog, while an important publicity strategy, is in and of itself bizarre. It’s creepy to think of anyone over the age of 40 (Cube is a ripe 40 years old) knowing how to operate something with an LCD screen. But we’re living in a digital age, and ever since my dad got a friend request on Facebook from his father a few weeks back, I’ve learned to accept the fact that anyone with a functioning brain can Tweet their heart out.

So on February 24th, Cube dusted off the ol’ paperweight and cracked the jawn open, logging onto his website to write a two paragraph post about his upcoming ninth (!) album I Am the West. The post was brief and succinct, but packed a venomous punch. “I AM THE WEST…is the name of my new record,” he wrote. “This shit is cocky, no apologies, West Coast gangsta shit. I can’t help it. That’s what I do.” Cube went on to reflect on the state of west coast affairs, throwing empty, easily misinterpretable shots at left coast rappers who “do music that appeals to the South and Mid=west.” “We lost our way,” he knowingly pattered away on his keyboard. “Thank God for b-boys like Snoop [Dogg], The Game & WC for keeping the West alive, but we were all guilty of overreaching. No more. […] Radio fucked us up. I hate the politics at radio. I don’t know who to pay to get my shit played. Having a hot song is not enough. Ridiculous.”

Yes, it’s ridiculous. But radio politricks aren’t really an issue for Cube, who has continued to sell hundreds of thousands of albums over the past few years without the tiniest semblance of a mainstream hit (Raw Footage, sold upwards of 300,000 – go ahead and name more than one official single off the joint without using Wikipedia, I’ll wait). So then what exactly does move units? Fiery beats and rhymes, a likeable personality and, most of all, controversy. And Ice Cube, of all people, knows that. As a member of N.W.A., Cube spouted some of the most anti-establishment, pig-loathing, fist-raising rhymes to ever grace wax, and the public ate it up with smug satisfaction. Controversy is as sexy as any given pr0n site, and anything worth inciting debate is bound to perk up a few ears.

But again, this isn’t 1987. No longer do the soft minds of the public yearn to hear politically saddled, damn-the-Man rhymes. We like our rappers mean, and we like ‘em beefing. In a world where a rapper who’s built his career on moving that white is exposed as a C.O. with a perfect attendance record, yet he continues to ship hundreds of thousands of records thanks to the publicity of his rival, rap fans still salivate the most at the prospect of the Battle - especially in a digital age where thinly veiled potshots are as simple to make as, say, setting up your own website and writing blog posts when it’s time to promote a new project.

And Cube’s got an album to sell. He’s also got a family to feed. Why shouldn’t he make statements the numbly dig at the new jacks if he knows it’s going to fuel the promotional fire? He’s earned the privilege; his track record backs his bark. In a follow-up addendum to his first post, he made the blanket statement, “[I]f you didn’t have a record out before 1986…you probably can’t tell me shit.” And he’s right. Who are you to tell this man that he isn’t the embodiment of an entire movement, the Captain Ahab of this ship? What right does the younger generation have to spray word bullets at the O.G.’s? Blind respect is mandatory for any new cat thinking he can spit a hot 16. If Cube isn’t in your list of influences from the start of your career, then you need to crack that pen right in half and flip through Ma Duke’s tape collection faster than a Detox release date rumor coming and going.

But Cube knew what he was getting at. That’s what years in the game will teach you. The power of a few keystrokes can send shockwaves through the internet and beyond in the matter of hours, and no matter if you’re an up-and-coming rapper with “N.W.A.” tatted across the back or can barely recall how many members were actually in the group, you’re going to have an opinion about whatever blithe statement has been made by any given rapper on his or her website.

Like any fish hungry for a bite, a few “new” west coast rappers took the bait. Whether it was for their own publicity or to actually fire back, the new kids weren’t happy. Jay Rock took it to the populist-CNN (a/k/a Twitter) to air his grievances about Ice Cube flaming the next generation. “WATTS UP WIT ICE CUBE TALKIN KRAZY ABOUT NEW WEST NIGGAS,” he tweeted. “IF HE GOT A PROB WIT 1 OF US HE SHUD SAY R NAME N STOP BN SCARED 2 CALL A NIGGA OUT. […] ON SOME REAL STUFF I AINT NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH CUBE OR NONE OF THE OG NIGGAS. BUT IF HE SAY NEW WEST IM APART OF THAT[.] TO ME HE TALKIN BOUT ALL OF US IF HE DIDNT SAY A NAME. THATS HOW THE WEST GOT FUCKED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE.”

Nipsey Hussle had some words to share, too. “I talked to Ice Cube personally at the BET Awards. He said, 'I got 16 [bars] for you when you're ready,' so I figured it wasn't directed toward me,” he said in an interview with Hip Hop Beef. “But if a nigga thought it was, guess they were supposed to do what Jay Rock did, speak his mind and do what men do and get it off they chest."

And just like that, Ice Cube got the Rap game talking. All it took was a few minutes of typing, perhaps a break to sip at his ginger-infused chamomile tea, and he incited a riot. And it’s exactly why Cube has remained so relevant over the years. With N.W.A and his subsequent slab of solo records, Cube learned how to push America’s buttons with a four-minute song, folding in enough fire to elicit a response from anyone with the platform to respond on a national level.

And he’s clearly privy to the ways of the Internet and how easy it is to bait anyone who wanders across his site (or any of the septillion Rap blogs that picked up the story). All he’s got to do is fire a few blanks into the dark and the young jacks will take his words and twist ‘em. In retaliation to such claims, Cube can backtrack at any given point, stating that he wasn’t directing his comments at one particular person, but that he’s more disgruntled with the game as a whole and how the spotlight has swung off of the west, where it once so prominently shined.

Lest we not forget that Ice Cube has always been one to pave the way for rappers on the rise. Reflecting on his track record, Cube has helped propel the once white-hot (Okay, maybe not white-hot, but at least lukewarm) careers of Kam, Mack 10, Da Lench Mob, WC & The Maad Circle and Yo-Yo. He was cousin to Del The Funkee Homosapien, and instrumental in Del's 1991 debut I Wish My Brother George Was Here. His co-sign has stamped the careers of a half-dozen artists, and it’s a foolproof defense mechanism to apply when artists like Jay Rock and Nipsey claim that he isn’t doing anything to help any new artists. Sure, he may not be appearing in the video with the next generation in this day and age, but he’s got his reasons – which he eloquently chose to verbalize on another blog post on March 25th.

“Why don't I produce up and coming rappers like I use to?” he typed. “I got burnt out. Niggas couldn't take the baton and run wit it. I was sick of babysitting grown ass men and walking them through the industry. I felt like Dr. Frankinstein [sic] building uncontrollable monsters. How? If you DON'T make'em a star, they blame you. If you DO make'em a star, they leave you. I got sick of that ungrateful shit.”

Durr! Just because Cube earned his spot as one of Hip Hop’s godfathers doesn’t mean he has to lend his star power out to every kid that shows promise. Just took at Jigga man’s business model: sign a hungry rapper (J. Cole, Freeway, Kanye West), let them build their own movement (maybe give them a Roc-A-Fella chain, tell them to throw up the diamond sign every now and again) and then ride that momentum right to the bank – that is, if it pays off (nine out of 10 times it doesn’t, but you still can’t knock the hustle).

Looking at his resume, Cube didn’t really bode well with cultivating his own artists (“Why is WC underrated?” he wrote in the same March 25th post. “Who knows. Skills don't mean as much as they use to. But he's a true MC. Fame is overrated”). So why should he waste any energy trying to lift a new artist off the ground when he’s still trying to maintain his own relevance? It’s a conflict that’s plagued everyone from Dr. Dre to Timbaland, and the success stories are few and far between.

Of course, with a bid like this for publicity (bait ‘em, followed by deny, deny, deny), there’s some unintended backlash that’s not very conducive to the cause. Isn’t referring to your demographic as “old” a detracting claim? Hip Hop isn’t an old man’s sport – the exceptions for artists who’ve crossed the 40-yard line are usually relegated to those who’ve somehow transcended it. Highlighting the fact that you’re part of a canonized, older demographic (i.e. the constant use of the term “Old West”) doesn’t necessarily help your cause. Substantiating an entire grievance with the state of the rap game by pinning it onto your age isn’t a good look for someone flaming the new blood, especially when your music career is at a crossroads where, if you push the line enough times, you’ll start looking like that old guy scolding all those damned kids smoking marijuana cigarettes with your free hand and brandishing a cigar in the other.

Because beyond the theatricality, beyond all the promotional games and petty feuds and misguided distinctions between “old” and “new,” there’s an underlying issue at hand that truly threatens the integrity of any legacy rapper. Hip Hop is so young and relatively “new” in the scope of recorded music’s history that the older generation is being forced to come to terms with their thrones being threatened by a new generation. The rap game has always been a culture meant to lend power to anyone with a sharpened pencil, but every tip grows dull after years and years of wear. And it isn’t always because that rapper’s rhymes and lyrical bite have flatlined. It’s a matter of the listening public becoming bored with the message and/or the style that the emcee has to offer. No matter what approach Ice Cube takes to combating the inevitable, he’s got a looming issue to deal with that he might just be getting too old for this young man’s game. It’s a hard pill to swallow, and you can either shuffle yourself into the alternative (living it up on the big screen, which Cube has proven fully capable of doing) or fall into obscurity. The choice is clear, and to be fair and honest, no one really wants to hear someone past middle age getting dirty on the mic.

So you can’t really blame Cube for making this bid for publicity. Sure, it may not be the most honorable way to demand respect and attention on a mass scale, but it unconscionably pulls that spotlight right back to him. His most recent blog post even takes it to the O.G. level, with Cube describing how he linked up in the studio with Dr. Dre, only to have the Good Doctor ask him if he fired shots at him on a new joint “Drink the Kool-Aid.” “No disses. Just style and grace,” he wroten in reference to the same man who brought the plight of the O.G. to light on “The Watcher.” An opportunity to post new lyrics, discuss his new single “I Rep That West” and reveal a new collabo with Jayo Felony and WC. Oh, and in case you already forgot, I Am the West hits stores July 13th.

The views and opinions expressed in the following feature editorial are those expressly of the writer of this piece and do not necessarily reflect those of HipHopDX.

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75 Comments

  • DrewDown91

    YOU CAN'T BE IN A RATED G MOVIE, COME BACK A YEAR LATER TRYING TO BE A G! Cube is tarnishing his legacy. If you moved onto film and being a family man - stay there. Stop being an old hater.

    • wakeflow

      That's money! Money money money! But, on the other hand, being a gangsta is in his blood. All he does is get money. I completely respect that. And again, he's only creating publicity for his new album. Did you read the whole article?

  • BiggMar303

    No Matter What Ice Cube Is Gonna Get The Respect He Deserves!! So Jay Rock Needs To Shut The Fukk Up, I Guarantee Cube Will Say Names And Take Shots At All The New West Artist He Got Problem With. And If They Feel Like Disrepecting A Legend The Best Think Again Bekuz All Of Hiphop Will Ride With Cube!! And For Niggas Thinkn They Kan Take Shots A Cube They Better Go Listen To No Vasline Again!!! Bekuz The Next One Will Be No Vasline 2010 Takin Out The New West And The Whole Game Will Realize Who The Real West Coast King Is!!!! Hail Cube!!!!

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  • Danny Real

    Ice Cube is the truth!!!! He never sells out, always puts out dope albums, come seroiusly people nobody can fuck with him.

  • Sean Felder

    Rest in peace Guru.In the 90's Gangstarr along with Boogie Down Productions dominated NYC hiphop music.Everyone remembered DWYCK,that joint is still a classic.I heard it on hot 97 and it brought me back great memories of my youth.Was living in the Bronx at Sedgwick Av off River Park Towers attending Laguardia Community Colege smokingweed.Guru is definitely a rap legend.NYC should have a hiphop museum of only true NY great MC"s.Anyone wanna agree to that?Let's get the rappers to unite and do that.

  • lankaistai

    I support Ice Cube, all day.Respect the legend!!!

  • cwj1990

    I think that the old west needs to hook up and dr.dre, snoop, cube, need to hook up with the NEW WEST and make a conection. I don't like the term new west cuz the west is the west, just the south is the south. the same things that are going on now are the same things that biggie and tupac were talking bout. eveybody is worrying bout themself, rappers need to come together. bow wow, jay-z, Ice-T, and ll cool j are fagot niggas. these bleached rappers are selling pop music. they sell to wiggers

  • C-ARSON

    The point of the article is Cubes a beast and top 5 dead or alive.

  • shon527

    this is what cube is talking about young punks who dont know shit about hiphop tryin to say whats hot or whos to old to rap cube is the best just listen to him and u may learn something and fuck jay cock he want cube to say his name for world spotlight ,and the writer of this need to get your facts right raw footagedid go gold and lets not forget lame cube is indy so he still made more off raw footage did your fav mc ha ha ha HATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • josh65

      actually, raw footage didn't reach gold status. it sold over 500k internationally, but the gold/platinum rating system only pertains to domestic sales. so yeah, guess the writer really is a hater, huh?

  • LB Fitted

    also i got some more indepth info on my blog about the whole cube thing under a post called "Ice Cube: Not callin out names" www.lbfitted.weebly.com

  • LB Fitted

    cube knew what he was doin when he made that statement. Its all for pub. It wasnt like he jus heard about somebody sayin somethin bout old west, he jus wanted to wait for the right time. And he aint gon say no names cus he knows better, he cant outrap these younger artists today, lyrically, stylewise, physically, hes gettin old, soundin old and lookin old! Not to mention with the new west rappers bein gang affiliated and still in the streets, cube aint gon make no problems (eventhough hes never in the streets) jus to feel safe at his shows. I think its gay for him to pull dat card and try to look like the victim but i guess desperate times call for desperate measures?

    • nickelnine

      cube could destroy any of these young new west niggas. you think they could beat no vaseline or king of the hill? nahhhhhhh

  • ShowTimeNY

    Good rticle. I dont know about an age limit for rap tho. Maybee a dress code Limit.. Like an old MC dressed like he 16 rapping bout silly shit. But Good music is Good Music. www.soundclick.com/showtimeny

  • Caliph

    yo steve, u killed this article dude.. shit made me lol at some points, most of it so true..keep bringing these A grade articles

  • ICE CUBE IS THE TRUTHQ

    Can't fuck with the Pyroclastic flow...

  • J. Griffie

    Man this was a really good piece, shout-out to the writer.

  • Shaun Alexander

    Man Ice Cube is an Eternal Legend. He can stick around the rap game as long as he wants. He earned that right and deserves respect from everyone in hip-hop. He has and always will be relevent. And to all these young guys, hating on Cube. Shut up, and just handle ya biz. Leave Cube alone before he beast on y'all.

  • Black Admiral

    The cats that can really rhyme on the West didn't respond to any of this..Blu,Fashawn,Pac Div, Glasses Malone..Cube is 100 on this and knows what it takes to sell albums...he even did it without a diss record....He's not a battle rapper (ask Common)....he clearly has been looking at the 50 business model...

    • box

      he ain't lose to common you fucc'n fools the minister came in and they squashed it before a real response, and when you think of the best diss records you don't think of the bitch in yoo which only really had a good first verse,unless you are a so called real hip hop elitist and that's just fact, common is knot (dope) but his diss ain't hurt nothing yell www.myspace.com/panhandoelrcorp

    • nickelnine

      ice isnt a battle rapper? he has 1 of the best diss tracks ever recorded (no vaseline) and another one where he ripped cypress hills heads off (king of the hill). he lost to common, but not many rappers would have beaten the bitch in yoo

  • JONES!

    That article was great! Like Nas once said,"hip hop is dead". Not quite but its so far underground, it might as well be. Without the internet I wouldnt know who half of these artists are. The charles hamiltons, the jay electronicas, wiz khalifas, rhyme fests,etc..... The radio plays the same 5 songs every hour. WTF the fuck happened to Dipset; they made music seem fun and exciting? Im all over the place because that where hiphop is. Whers Papoose, the great lyrical one? It seems that the artist can spread knowledge are not the ones getting record deals. I dont know who to blame but its not "Da White Man".... By the way, go cop that new Kidz in the Hall album Land of Make believe, Fire!!!!!!

  • als_360

    he need to go somewhere with this publicity stunt shit, and work on are we leaving yet or the the last friday in november

  • Knuckz

    Safe to say that the west is only here because of Cube. Yeah there were dudes before him, but NWA was booed when they came to NY. It was Cube who bridged the East & the West. First West coast Cat to get East Coast love. And he is still in the game; not because he has to, but for the love of it. With all of the things that he has going on do you really think he gives a shit if he sells a record? These new cats with their recycled subject matter and limited rhymes skills need to pay homage and respect the legend of Ice Cube. If he doesn't want to work with you then so be it, work with someone else. Dissing him was a no no

    • box

      so getting love from ny then didn't mean shit,ny was on some serious hating shit bacc then,yet most rappers that come from there now look up to nwa and follow they blueprint with the cursing and reality, keep it networth, i love all this hip hop shit then lived it but got to call a spade a spade ny bought the hater aspect to the game and that's a fact yell

    • daddy da

      fareal , and all these new rappers sound like kareoke of the old west , noone will ever buy that

  • DL Dub

    I'm a 40 year old in a 21 year old's body. Most of my peers still watch BET. You know that one channel that used to be good but now all it does is play over edited, terrible "black" films that really shouldnt be on TV anyway. I havent watch that channel since AJ and Free left 106 and even then it was limited. I thank the Lord Jesus himself for my mother raising me on the old school shit that came out when I was just a baby, or before i even had a name, because the shit that's out now just sucks straight ass dishcarge. The game is gross now, everybody's talking about the exact same shit. There is no revolutionary group like PE, or a I can do bad all by myself type of nigga like the old Dreadlocked Busta Rhymes. Everybody is so focused on themselves and not on what is Hip Hop. Even Jay is on that selfish shit really, the Roc is not what it used to be. So I agree with this article being an anomally to my age group. Somehow we have got to do better, before our shit turns into elevator music.

  • murdock08

    whats funny to me is the real artists and fans are the only ones who noticed after the game went too commercial sales fell off quality of music fell off labels fell off...radio dont play hip hop anymore!!tv dont play hop hop anymore!!but they need to because these lames are running it into the ground..peace to cube

  • De Fench

    This is a really great article. You are hitting all the right points an with good supporting evidence. I am glad you addressed multiple issues within the industry & possible solutions. I agree, Jay definitely understands the importance of signing a new artist and allowing them to create their own movement. Great job!

  • Nomad Sirrah

    I like this article, good read. Also me being from NC born and raised I always thought the WE-ST music was dope because it was another angle of hip-hop. I am a father of three now and when I am informing my 11 year old about the music it helps him decide on what new artist he listen too. I like Pac Div, U-N-I, and BLU and they are a n extension of what NWA and Ice Cube to me. If You are going to Doubt Something, Doubt your Limits.. Don Ward RDU, NC

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  • kissmyass

    oh and props to th author...this was a good fuckin article man

  • kissmyass

    I'll be grabbin that cube album when it drops cause cube make good music period. Age shouldn't exist in hip hop, if a dude can spit rhyme he can spit rhymes, you either buy the album or not right? I like some new west cats and I like some old west cats...bottom line this put the west back in the spotlight and that seems like a good thing

  • Lentes36

    fucking hate all these "new west" cats, putting out kanye west sounding shit, biting off the Old School cats lyrics. What their saying has already been said, Gangster Rap Isn't What It Used To Be, god how i miss those days,

  • knuckz

    Raw Footage is a gr8 cd. The reason for lack of sales is the same as everyone else. ILLEGAL DOWNLOAD. If people don't have the mpney they are going to download it. Not me though. If I am a fa, I refuse to download the real artists. Bought Jay Z, Raekwon, Rick Ross. Blackout 2, The Foundation(MOP) & Jadakiss last year. I was only disappointed with one of the purchases. Kiss' CD was too south sounding.I will be buying the Cube CD though. Have to support the real hip hop.

  • prynzcezer

    Aight this was a good read and I'm gonna give props to the author b4 i state the fact that imagine if you were cube and all this soda pop shit is comin out ppl aint bein tru to the game no more n all dis fuckery happenin i mean shit half the reason ppl paid attention is not because of what was said it was who said it. If someone else said it the impact would have been less but that's the thing old or not cube has the experience under his belt he has the foresight and is a witness to the game from its evolution to what it is now. It's like being a parent and seeing your kids do bad...of course to the kid you're just an old man who's talking and nagging but on the real tip as a mature person you'd realize its more of a notice a warning its fucking advice to get your shit together. People blame the game on the listeners nah dats not it it's the fact that people arent being themselves and make this commercial shit that they believe ppl wanna hear. A catchy hook n some lullaby words will get you radio play and some attention but in the end i'm going back to my fuckin ipod touch and i'm playing Ice Cube-it was a good day because that has substance. I'm not going to buy some lame rappers album or even download it for the one track thats catchy. Honestly nowadays "rappers" make singles they don't make albums. They don't have content to give to people. Ice Cube is one of my biggest influences as a rapper and pimpin best believe the truth is the truth no matter who speaks it and it will set you free but at first it might just piss you off. Nuff Said!

  • Really Doe

    I ride with Cube. The fuck is a Jay Rock?

  • wouzi

    CUBE WILL ALWAYS BE DA TRUTH, LIKE DA WAY HE TALKD BOUT OFFICER RICKEY!!!!!!!!!

  • D.D.410wutup

    Wow, this is a really good read!

  • mc ren

    I am a huge ice cube fan but yo this is the best article ever written on hip hop dx! this shit sounds professional... Not like these other posts here that are excerpts from other sites, this is some real shit! Who ever wrote this should write more article for hhdx!

  • mc ren

    I am a huge ice cube fan but yo this is the best article ever written on hip hop dx! this shit sounds professional... Not like these other posts here that are excerpts from other sites, this is some real shit! Who ever wrote this should write more article for hhdx!

  • twoholla

    Well written article Mr. Horowitz. It was provocative, insightful, & entertaining

  • twoholla

    Well-written article Mr. Horowitz. It was provocative, insightful, & entertaining

  • ZOPHIM

    I don't agree! Music is for all ages! Dude, every other genre of music around the world has no cut-off year or date for a person to retire. Its whatever you love musically, such as, Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal, Jazz, Opera, etc, its all music and it should have no expiration on it! But, for some reason when it comes to rap and black people, we can only see one version of ourselves in this industry! For example, we have to fit the image of an Ebonic slang spitten rude boy with over expensive chains followed by some name brand trousers hanging off our bottom, down to the Airforce ones. Seriously!? You know if you travel the world, white people still think that this is what personifies black people today! I am in the military and I have been privilaged to travel outside of America to give a better representation of black people! Even in this country with a subsequent black President, a country white boys told me that he 'thought all black people act like what you see in rap videos!' Now ask yourself, "Should I get mad at that - whereas there is no other examples of our full character?" No! So, this is why we need to have an mature group as well as an adolescent one. "--BALANCE! --that's all it is!" This is also why Jay-Z & Nas amongst a few other pioneers have evolved with great acceptance today! Have you seen the way Planet Rock acts and dresses, those dudes are in their 40's still talking and acting like kids, people don't respect that! They look stupid! Music is ageless but we are not so we need to grow with the times! You got to grow up some times, or else you wind up back where you started old broke and shit out of luck! So, you get forced to hustle and do something real ignorant because you never caught up to the times or education. one

  • djbvax

    I have always had a problem with age and Hip Hop. "To be fair and honest no one wants to hear a middle aged dude rhyme" Really? Who did you ask? What if you close you eyes and just listen to the music? Would that make a difference? It's crazy. You can be a old dj. ( jazzy jeff, Kid Capri) and old producer (Dre, Primo, Tim, Pete Rock) or an old Graff writer. God forbid if you have something to say as an elder spokesman for Hip Hop. Are you crazy?? Microphones were only invented for people 25 and younger. This is a culture. You don't grow out of your culture. If you can sing you can sing. If you can play a instrument, you can play a instrument. Why can't someone who's "older" say rhymes to a beat? Sometimes it's not about pleasing the youth. I think that has become a problem with Hip Hop. Every other form of music has so much respect for their elder acts. With Hip Hop as soon as you turn 30 you suck. It's pretty sad. I'm glad Cube said what he said stunt or not. He still can rap circles around most of these new "mc's" and that maybe what they fear the most.

    • chronwell

      Im 33 and most of themusic I buy is by 30 and over artists. Wu Massacre, Madlib, AZ, KRS, Rhymefest. There are younger dudes like Lupe and others but its always shit they say on the mic I cant rock with. 30 and over, grown, sexy, over-sexed, and still G'd up ! YAY YAY!

    • CUTTBOY

      True.Sad ....but true.

  • afdsfasdfas

    definitely a publicity stunt. i have mad love for cube, but for real he needs to let the young cats eat too homie

  • visuliza

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc2z8y-NlNM check out this 9th style production for sale

  • smokeylungz

    CHECK OUT THE DERTY UNIT!!!!!!!, BROWNLUCCI, JACK SHINE, CLOSE RANGE, BROKES, EGGROLL, J DINIERO, ALL DOPE WEST COAST LOS ANGELES MC'S, REPPIN THAT NEW WEST OLE SO WELL, IF U DON'T KNO, NOW U KNO................................

  • CUTTBOY

    Can't wait for the Cube Album.I aint gonna lie,I only read about half this shit.Blah,Blah.Talk,Talk.Boring. O.Jackson is the SHIT!! Real Talk! He don't owe the "new" west shit.

  • big braveheart

    There's not too many new West Coast cats that can lyrically fuck wit Cube. The man's a hip-hop legend and wordsmith who has made some fierce and amazing music, Chino Xl, Ras Kass & Crooked I are among those who are among the best in the West but can't see too many coming thru. Cube has to let others breathe and have a chance but i can see excatly where he's coming from. Are rappers like Jay Rock or Nipsey Hussle up there, who else is catching ears? In years past Kurupt, Xzibit, Ren, Eiht,Frost, Quik, CPO, Tha Liks, Cypress, Mack 10, WC, Ice-T, Spice 1,Short Dog,E-40, Warren G, Everlast, Above The Law, Snoop and others made marks but Cube is kinda right in saying WHO is saying anything or actually making a difference now? WHO?

  • lay

    Cant fuck wit Cube!!!!

  • WhoDo You Think You Are

    With all the pirating of music and the free downloading, your gold is Platinium, Its sad when we all just keep downloading peoples future for free, if you believe in an artist, buy that artist material 99 cents and don't up load it, so everyone can get it for free, that just fucks up all our futures, some of the most record breaking free downloaded artist like Busta Rhymes Kardinal Offishall Colby O 2 pistols Pit Bull all have ben dropped from their labels because millions of millions of free downloads that whole Konvict movement won Grammys and Teen choice awards all types off love and record breaking downloads, all free that hurt Akons entire label we loved, that sound so much, we downloaded it in record numbers but all free downloads, thats the future that awaits, all up and comming artist, so now their is less money burning the streets, it was the music business that had all that disposalable income, that was what was fueling our movement, now they fiqured out a way of shutting that down by making mp3 for free on everyone's music that kills artist, writers, producers, labours, nite clubs, restuarants, the whole game has changed we needs to listen to ICE CUBE and buy an album a 99 cent MP3 buy our future back

    • chronwell

      downloading peoples future for free, ^What the fuck is you talkin bout!? U sound like a A&R for Konvict who just got his severance package! Teen Choice award HAHAHA!! I cant and I wont HAHAHAHA!!

  • Backpacker 88

    I'm getting the new Cube album. But I also support the New West movement. Cats like Jay Rock, Nipsey, and even the not-so-new artists like Murs, Dilated, Crooked I... these cats can all spit. I'll support anyone from the West that's making moves. I'm tired of what it seems like each decade the spotlight goes to one region. That's bullshit. If you're shit is hot, it really shouldn't matter where you're from.

  • that nigga Fon Z

    GET EM' CUBE!!! Fuck those garbage new west rappers...... I'm from LA & i rather listen to these new east coast or southern rappers than the "New West..." The last rapper from the West that came up with actual lyrical talent is Game, unfortunately...

  • bigassballs

    this article sucked

  • west los

    the west is slowly rising again. We got Dr.Dres Detox coming very soon, Games R.E.D album with Aftermath, Crooked I doinf big things with Slaughterhouse, Nipsey Hussle gatting some radio play and now Ice Cube to bring back the West Coast O.G. shit. Lets now put anybody from the west down lets REBUILD

  • jesterdx

    gangsta rap made me do it, why me & do ya thang (fuck wikipedia tha shit lies i cud edit sayin cube done a remix to drank the kool aid wiv crooked, malone & rock) cube is not a legend hes more than tha hes a fuckin god ima cop the album no matter wat anybody says... an as for sales shit 300 thousand thas good but i still dont feed too much into tha bullshit its bout lyrics, originality & quality!

  • blcknd

    cube dont have to do all that stuff to get my attention cause i pick cube over any of them lame west coast artist or any artist but if he want to go at them or any body im cool with it i ride with cube all day every day i can never not like cube the only reason cube last album didnt sell cause he didnt havea good first single and he second single people were to stupid to care about cause it had a message in it but all people care about it partying.clubing poppin bottle and all that how many time can u rap about the same bottle of vodka any way i dont care if cube relevent or not that not a big deal to me cause cube it just a artist your always gona wanna listen to if he havea good album or not relevent or not

  • MYLIE

    definitely getting the album

  • chronwell

    I gotta ride with the OG on this one. Im feelin Jay Rock, Spider Loc, Pac Div, Crook, Glasses, Taje, Bishop and all the guys from the '00s spittin outta the LA scene BUT Cube paid his dues puttin out artists. Yoyo, Kam, Del... I was listening to the old Lench Mob album from '94 Saturday,that joint still slap!I dont like artists who get "put on" or dont get "put on" complainin about gettin help. Dig it, one day you might call ya own father or big brother and he cant help U !Thats life.

  • Dretruth

    Well I am going to get this album. I wonder is it going to be anything like before or is it going to be fresh and new and from a grown man point of view. Being a man I can say may be a difficult but hey it's all in a part of growin up.