Ice Cube Talks West Coast Rap, Going Indie, & NWA

Cube explains how the West can make a comeback, says NWA opened doors for pop-art, and describes how being independent has changed his music.

Ice Cube's ninth studio album I Am the West signifies an effort to bring left coast music not just to the forefront of Hip Hop again, but also to what the genre was once heralded for. Whether Cube was able to accomplish this with the LP is contentious, however the veteran emcee is still talking up ideas in which the West can return to the days of nostalgia.

"My inspiration behind the album was, I felt like West coast artists have been searching for what we need to do to get the attention of the industry," he told Billboard. "Ultimately what I said is we need to do what we do best. To do the music that we made famous, which is hardcore gangster rap and in my case, be proud of the West and our contributions to what we did and what we're doing for Hip Hop."

His message was not just aimed at artists of what is called the New West. He also spoke up on what he thinks is a missing element in the new era of music: respect.

"If you don't respect the game, you're not going to win. So that's the key--to respect the game, and respect the art of it. And if you do that, you got a good foundation for good things to happen. But if you just in it for the money and the flash, or for the girls or whatever you think you're gonna get out of it, that's gonna take your focus away from what really matters and that's the music." Ice Cube's experience in the industry finds its roots with NWA, which he says opened doors for all kinds of music.

"NWA for better or for worse, opened up all of pop art--not just music, but everybody now feels they can be themselves. Nobody has to put on a facade, change who they are to be famous.You can do it how you feel it.

Cube's latest album was released on indie label Lench Mob. He explained how making music on an independent label has been liberating for him. "I've had more fun making these independent records than I ever did on a label. It's just more freedom. We make the decisions. We decide how we're going to promote. It's not a meeting. It's not a big old corporate thing. It's just my team. I want my records to play on the radio too. And it's a shame that they don't because I'm not on a major label. That's what sucks, is that major labels get all the love when it comes to mainstream outlets and for people to hear the music, see the music and want to buy the music. It's an uphill battle, but I'm an underdog and I love taking this road. It's the only road I know, really."

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14 Comments

  • ME

    The Game should have brought the west back, and held it down... Unfortunately he's a bipolar, cross-dressing, too many diss tracks making homo! None of these "new west" cats have what it takes to run shit. They are all "pretty good", not great...

  • Anonymous

    that sucks how indipendent labels and artist GET NO LUV from radio. thats why music is so stale and bland. cuz thye only playin what they get paid to play. YOOOO CRAZY CRACKED OUT GUY GOT CAUGHT TAKING A SHIT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET IN FRONT OF A BABY AND FAMILY!!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZiWe3i7Ato

  • six

    Why all these niggas screamin "bring the west back or bring the east back"?! Aint never left really. The south is holding it down right now. Now these niggas are goin thru what the southern artist went thru and they dont seem to like that very much. I still bang my Leathal Injection CD. Niggas need to stop all tha cryin and hatin and start supporting dope artist from all sides. 4 real!!!!

  • Migzy X

    Does anyone know what "the new west" stands for ? I dont get it...

  • wes$t$ide

    cube dont give a shit what yall say hes just stackin his paperrrr

  • Anonymous

    Shut the fuk up you young ass niggas, and go pick up your soildier boy & drake album no diss drake but they dont understand Cube & Scarface

  • Heberpayy

    The only good thing about his last album, was WC and the chance of Maylay got in the spot. Cube should shut up and don't ever make Disney-ass, pop-ass, lame-ass movies or series... shit... HE FUCKED UP TERRY CREWS ON THE SHOW. Suck my dick.

  • gutter man

    icecube talks about west coast rap- thats all he ever talks about! maybe he should talk about the 3 moles that form a triangle near his right temple.lol

    • Anonymous

      OBVIOUSLY YOU DONT LISTEN TO LYRICS HIS LAST 2 ALBUMS HAD STRONG POLITICAL EDGE LYRICS.. HOOD ROBBIN IS ONE..HOOD MENTALITY ETC...

    • deathcertificate

      hahaha, so funny

    • gutter man

      hey SHUTTMAN YOU NEED TO TELL CUBE TO STOP TRYING SO HARD . CUBE THE HOLLYWOOD ACTOR NEEDS TO RETIRE OR GET HIS POLITICAL EDGE BACK- THE FOOLS BEST ALBUM WAS IN 1990

    • SHUTTMAN

      man fuck you and yo momma nigga. anyways big ups to ICE Cube the true independent nigga. STILL MAKING MONEY WEST WEST YALL

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