Ice Cube - I Am The West

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3.63

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Cube continues to stand tall on this LP as the veteran gun-slinger in the new west coast, who can still shoot with the best of them, even if he misses his mark.

Listening to I Am the West, it’s hard not to think about Ice Cube’s long and successful career, specifically, those early solo years. While prepping for this latest release, Ice Cube became a presence with his blog, insinuating that he would bring back the rawness of his first solo efforts, critically acclaimed albums with potent lyrics, poignant observations and all presented with an in-your-face delivery. The man who some love to hate announced that it was time to get a brand new payback, one inspired by his California roots.


For seven or eight years now the west coast has been trying to do music that appeals to the south and midwest...Left coast emcees were now trying to change their sound to cater to all the followers. We lost our way...We were all guilty of over reaching. No more. At least not from me.”

When Cube wrote those words, there was a feeling that I Am The West would be a strong leftist followup to 2008’s Raw Footage, a reflection of where The Don Mega is in 2010 and where west coast Hip Hop stands. Unfortunately, that’s not what always shines through on this new record, as Cube misses his mark.

Now, to be clear, Ice Cube has not “lost” his skills behind the mic. His voice is still blaring through the speakers with possibly as much confidence as the 1991 "No Vaseline"-era O'Shea Jackson. He’s still head and shoulders above various competitors, young and old alike. When he speaks on topics with a serious tone, he still delivers quite a punch. “Hood Robbin,’" for instance, is a round-house that connects with poverty in America, the loss of homes, political corruption and nightmare that can sometimes appear when chasing the American dream. In other ways, Cube proves that age no longer matters much in this culture with “No Country for Young Men.” He continues to succeed with the simple yet intentionally fierce flow on “Drink the Kool-Aid” . Other standouts include “Soul on Ice” “Too West Coast,” “Nothing Like L.A.” and the Jayo Felony, WC and Young Maylay assisted “Life in California.”

However, this album also has pitfalls that overshadow some of its successes. After claiming he wouldn’t be guilty of “overreaching,” he falters with the unimpressive “She Couldn’t Make It On Her Own,” which sounds like a feeble attempt at a Southern smash. “Y’all Know How I Am” follows suit, while “Fat Cat” continues this odd pattern with a Texas-inspired instrumental and flow to match. It makes one wonder if the broken promise of Dr. Dre beats affected this project’s outcome in a major way but more than that, it makes one ponder why these cuts landed on an album titled I Am the West.

Approaching 25 years in the game, Ice Cube remains a strong emcee who can still garner top-shelf anticipation for new releases. He continues to thrive on California-based material and he even expands his legacy by introducing OMG, his son, to the Rap world, on this album. However, there are a wealth of parts of the disc that terribly diminish its high points. It’s tough to listen to I Am the West at times, especially after reading his original statements about the album’s direction. It’s difficult not to be disappointed by these flaws after experiencing the N.W.A. alum's pre-album vigor. Nevertheless, Cube continues to stand tall on I Am the West as the veteran gun-slinger in the new west coast, who can still shoot with the best of them, even if he misses his mark.

120 Comments

  • O Gee

    It is a good album not great by any means, but deserves far more credit from reviewers than we see today. These guys seem to be controlled by so many people in the industry, they seem to all have the same opinion about every major album. The ones most real rap fans consider wack are the ones with top rating cause they have mass appeal and are mainstream. Pity what the industry has turned to.

  • jack johnson

    This album was absolutely awful, it deserves one star

  • Matt Sullivan

    It's a good album, but its not as good as Raw Footage....I like most of the songs here however. HHDX is on that wack review ish

  • Fossie

    Ey punk ass "had to say it"what the fuck you are talkin about ?Who are you talkin bad about a legend??Are you paid by the industry?Look at all this bullshitrappers,Wacka Flocka ,Guccu gay mane ,Soulja gay.....and the list goes on and on ....ICE CUBE is too hardcore for all these stans!His worst song still better than the best of this fuckin industry rapperz!!!Fuck all them!!

  • stephen murphy

    I adore this album & it don't have 2 do with east vs west bullshit neither with someone's dick size or cube's skin color or religion or political views. It all comes down 2 the songs;Beat & groove & flow & lyrics. Cube's latest is not perfect but a strong release nonetheless.

  • Anonymous

    drink the kool-aid

  • Tammy

    Ice Cube, Damn!! Mad probz, love his new album. Westsiiide haha, and F*ck the critic's. greetings from Holland ;) Album's Perfect, Worth Da Money

  • Gorav Bagga

    HE SOULD HVE PUT MAN VS. MACHINE ON THE ALBU....INSTEAD OF HAVIN IT A BONUS TRACK.....SUCHA STRONG SONG!!!!!!!!!!

  • balareena

    my new fave tack is NOTHING LIKE LA!!! i had to correct the lyrics on google tho cuz someone butchered the shit outta them

  • balareena

    so first off to all you ICE CUBE HATERS out there yal can suck a mutha fuckin dick...yal some lame games most def... really CUBE is the shit so quit tryna pull apart his masterpieces when we dont see yal in a studio... til you in the game dont slander his shit DID YOU NOT GET IT ON HIS RECORD "GANGSTER RAP MADE ME DO IT" run that track n check ya self b4 ya wreck ya self

  • jeremy

    man who ever is hatin u really didnt listen to it. or u real dont know west coast musik. this cd reps it . how could u say it sounds like southern beats . so west coast . haters step ya game up WESTCOAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hell 2 the nah

    damn shame what happened to cube

  • SutterKane

    Gotta agree with the reviewer when he pointed out the Southern sounding tracks, I thought "You was the West" Cube?? Half this album sounds like Suthern Hillbilly music, might as well just rap over the Dualing Banjos from Deliverance while your at it.......

  • former Cubefan

    Cube's frown has lost its power. And SMH @ Cube on the cover with a gun.

  • sistersora

    This CD is banging!! Love the beats and Cube is on hit. Loving W.C.

  • Anonymous

    GOOD BUT COULD BE BETTER.... VERY UNDER RATED ALBUM...DO YOU HOMOS EVEN LISTEN THE LYRICS??

    • Tammy

      I DON'T THINK SO, CUZ IT'S 2 UNREAL WHAT THEY 2 SAY. PROBABLY HOMO'S I GUESS 2. CUZ ICE CUBE'S ALBUM I AM THE WEST IS WORTH A 5!

    • Anonymous

      ya thats exactly why i give it a 2!! the lyrics are lyke Juveniles... THEY SUCK!!!!!!! his beats saved him from bieng a 1

  • Joseph Jerry Kadendulah

    west coast for life nigga.

  • paul longino

    I got cube's new album "I am the west" and it goes hard i really was waiting on this for awhile and im still impressed, accourse on every album there are low times not meaning thet didnt serve their purpose,like drinking a lite beer. How ever in the end i have to give it to cube for the game he spit on the album and still having a voice in this that has inspired meto continue in the game and hey cube your right ,i to was guilty of over reaching ,but not no more .Midwest!

  • Doc Hol

    Albums dope but does have a couple wack joints on that said the majority is sick especially joints like I rep that West and Nothin like LA

  • Anonymous

    I aint heard this album yet, guna listen to it tmoro, but i've heard 'drink the kool aid' an i hope that aint nothin to go by cos that song is just straight garbage.

  • Daylynn

    This album is fire!!!

  • YeaYea

    Album is fucking dope, only a couple weak tracks.

  • Jesús Diaz

    Album is better than a lot of shit that gets more than 4/5 on this website.

  • THISIZPREE

    THE INDUSTRY IS NOT GONNA FOOL ME IN TO BELIEVING THE NEW CUBE IS AVERAGE.... THE CARTER 3 THATS AVERAGE GUCCI ALBUM IS AVERAGE IM NOT DUMBING MYSELF DOWN LIKE THE REST OF YOU FOLLOWERS... THE GARBAGE MUSIC GET PRAISES NOW & DAYS... YALL LET WAKA FLOCKA IN & HES JUST TRASH.... WOULDNT SURVIVE IN THE REAL HIP HOP ERA NEITHER GUCCI...LETS BE REAL...ON THAT NOTE I AM WEST IS CLASSIC...BROOKLYN KNOW THE TRUTH

    • Joseph Jerry Kadendulah

      yeah nigga cube is a fucking genius... of course i am the west

    • Chadwick B

      I feel ya! Finally someone who speaks the truth! Cube is still spittin classic material. All this "play play" swagger rap is getting on my nerves!

  • Anonymous

    This album should have called: I am Done!

  • leeg

    its cool!!!! kinda mad at the album i was expecting more!!!!! IM A HUGE CUBE FAN AND WILL REMAIN 1!!!!!! STILL BETTER THEN MOST RAPPERS OUT SO ILL STILL BANG IT!!!!

  • Gorav Bagga

    THIS ALBUM AIN'T BAD!....SONGZ LIKE "NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG MEN" IS AMAZING....TOO WEST COAST, I REP THAT WEST, DRINK THA KOOL-AID, HOOD ROBIN, SOUL ON ICE, AND THE BEST SONG IS THE BONUS TRACK ON ITUNES "MAN VS. MACHINE".....STRAIGHT UP THE BEST SONG FROM ICE CUBE SINCE "IT WAS A GOOD DAY"......SO LISTEN TO ALL THEZE SONGZ BEFORE YOU GIVE IT LESS THAN A 5

    • O Gee

      Hood Robbin is my best, man vs machine is tight as well but too short no wonder it is a bonus track. Hood robbin is Cube at his intellectual self, creative and abstract. The song is incredible to say the least.

  • toby

    http://losangelesraiders.blogspot.com/ In 1982, Raiders owner Al Davis beat the NFL in court and moved his team from Oakland to Los Angeles. With a squad as colorful as its owner, the Raiders captivated a large numbers of black and Hispanic fans in L.A. at a time when gang warfare, immigration and the real estate boom were rapidly changing the city. The L.A. Raiders morphed into a worldwide brand as the team's colors, swagger and anti-establishment ethos became linked with "Gangsta Gap" and the hip-hop scene that was permeating South Central Los Angeles. Rapper-turned-filmmaker Ice Cube was not only witness to this evolution, he was also a part of it. As a member of the notorious rap group N.W.A, Ice Cube helped make the silver and black culturally significant to a new generation and demographic. Still a die-hard Raiders fan, Cube will explore the unlikely marriage between the NFL's rebel franchise and America's glamour city, and show how pro football's outlaw team became the toast of La La Land.

  • had to say it

    album fuckin sucks. cube top 5 easy. but come on. embarrassing. his kids are trash on the mic. cube flow is stale. energy is gone, breaths way short. he sounds fuckin done man. dres a fuckin ghost but i can see why he ducked this project. cube sounds weak, and i think its time to hang the mic up if hes satisfied RELEASING shit like this. i understand the need to create, but hes paid, this is an old pro hangin on too long with everyone watchin. always sucks to see mortality bite a great. respect to cube but bold album title considering he tryin to fit the current mold of popular music instead of delivering classic west west. cube sold out like a fuckin chump and now he droppin frisbees. sad truth. laugh now cry later was fuckin dope. this shit is tired, and weak. its like listening to big daddy kane

    • O Gee

      While i agree this isn't amongst his great works as a whole there are several solid tracks that still show his creative and intellectual self like Hood Robbin, Nothing like LA, No country for old men and your money of your life. How many albums nowadays can boast of tracks this good? Even Eminem i struggle nowadays to listen to with a few good tracks here and there. This isn't the best from Cube, far from it but it isn't as bad as u make it sound. Cube still has any day any time.

    • Hl

      No, Your Dad is weak and tired after I had gay sex with him.

    • Joseph Jerry Kadendulah

      fuck you man and you don't know what you are talking about.....! drink the cool aid nigga

    • Chadwick B

      Come on dawg! Hood Robbin was the ish! I can play this CD without skipping. To me it's the same old cube spitting in the new age. Im seeing the progression in him! You might want to listen to the CD again bro

    • Anonymous

      you fuckin crazy

  • bigsavage55

    probally ice cubes worst album yet . Only 2 or 3 bangers i like . Hood Robbin is dope . too many weak songs . too many fillers . come on cube . with these weak beats

  • Nicholas

    Half the album is vintage CUBE, the oter half is just keepin up wit the current sound but he is passing the torch to his son who is my age so he put some new school tracks on there. So not his best work but half of the album is very good 3.5 MICS not 2.5 hip hop dx are you crazy !

  • Real Hip Hop Fan

    The song "Fat Cat" is the perfect example of doing what you said you was not gonna do.

    • Anonymous

      Come on, its just one song! Cube can get away with that because if you check the history, he is highly connected with the south. Remember Suave House and Rap a lot! I think he rep the west on the CD, definitely not a 5 star album but a solid 4.5 at least.

  • Real Hip Hop Fan

    I wish Cube did what he said “For seven or eight years now the west coast has been trying to do music that appeals to the south and midwest...Left coast emcees were now trying to change their sound to cater to all the followers. We lost our way...We were all guilty of over reaching. No more. At least not from me.” This album is not very good

  • Tommy Hancher

    After a few listens, this CD is addicting now. No matter what people say, the album is really tight. I know many would rather have the old west coast feel on it, but now we are in 2010.. Times have changed. We still gotta give it up to Cube, for keeping it real after almost 25 + years on the Mic. He's probably one of few that hasn't fallen off or sold out! Thanks Cube for a great album once again

  • nico 3

    The album just didn't feel top shelf enough. Independent or not, you gotta come with better beats. Especially when your name is Ice Cube and people expect a certain level of quality with whatever you put out.

  • MusicFiend

    Great album, a slight step down from Raw Footage but still banging as a motherfucker

  • rainer23

    Hood robbin and Nothin like LA are too tracks that we gonn hear about a long time. CLASSICs

  • BRRRR

    Great, I needed some grandpa rap in my collection. Thanks, Cube. Old-ass nigga.

    • Chadwick B

      Who gives a Fuck how old he is!! That's the problem with spectators (spec haters) like you. This is why its hard for rap music to evolve. Because whiny side haters always wanna say somebody is too old to rapp! Get Real man! Music is Music man it dont matter what the age is. You wouldnt tell that to a Blues artist would ya? Jazz artist? Rock and roll? Country? Why cant rappers get old?

    • sicoyall

      shutyonobodyassupignantnigga!!

  • Mortis

    Hood Robbin' is classic cube. The rest of the album is terrible.

  • Deezy

    ...........go no wrds..

  • jack johnson

    agreed with the review. its really disappointing to see ice cube do the exact opposite of what he said he would do, instead of making a west coast album he made another album with some west coast tracks and some awful southern style tracks. both his sons OMG and Doughboy are wack imo and those were the songs that happened to have the southern beats, makes me wonder if it was them who wanted it that way >(. another thing i didn't like was the lack of subject matter, nearly ever song was just "i'm still the king of the west, you suck, i'm the shit". only songs that had real topics was Nothin Like LA and Hood Robbin which were the best songs on the album. also he cut the two best emcees on the album Maylay and WC verses short, they got like a 5 second verse each on two songs, maybe he didn't wanna get outshined by them.

  • Anonymous

    GOOD SHIT....WAY UNDER RATED AS FAR AS LYRICAL CONTENT..... ONE OF THE TRUE PIONEERS STILL MAKING SOLID ALBUMS SINCE 87 THATS INSANE

  • Jason Hubsch

    I loved this album, even more than his last two, which I didn't dig all that much. True, the tracks mentioned above aren't as strong as the highlighted ones, but they're still so far above other rappers' level of quality that they're not only forgivable, but still even enjoyable. Full track-by-track review here: http://goo.gl/lXmm

  • shitnum

    if he got rid of shit like "Urbania" and "She couldnt make it on her own".....this shit would be alot better and it is much like war and peace vol 1 because it has some great songs but too much useless filler to call it classic....but songs like hood robbin, no country and too west coast are some of the best shit hes come out with in a long ass time

  • Jay West

    Just Got It From Best Buy For $9.99.

    • Anonymous

      Brrrr... Real artists get real support. keep downloading those garbage artists for free! And oh by the way, Cube wouldnt want yo sorry trick hater ass as a fan anyway, cause he knows true fans will support him. So continue to support your fly by night artist!! Biatch!!

    • Gorav Bagga

      BRRRRR got owned......i bought this album too.....BECUZ I SUPPORT ICE CUBE!!!!!

    • Swamp Thang

      @BRRRR......did you know that some people still like to actually buy albums and support the artists that put a lot of work into creating them, you stupid, mindless dumb f*ck.

    • BRRRR

      Did you know you can just download shit for free now?

  • SutterKane

    Major step backwards from his last 2.

  • TELL THE WORLD MY NAME

    This is a great review. I felt the same exact way after hearing this album. Cube is one of my favorite rappers of all time, but he really disappointed with this album. This falls short in comparison to Raw Footage & LNCL. The album does have gems burried beneath the garbage, but its very inconsistent & its Cube's 2nd worst album (1st is War & Peace Vol. 1).

    • TELL THE WORLD MY NAME

      I'VE HEARD NO ONE COMPLAIN ABOUT RAW FOOTAGE. I KNOW LNCL HAD MIXED REVIEWS. ME PERSONALLY, I LIKED BOTH. THIS ONE JUST ISN'T CUTTING.

    • Indiemuzik

      @TELL THE WORLD MY NAME and SutterKane:OMFG! First everyone was complaining that Raw Footage and LNCL were Cube's 2 worst albums and now you're praising them. WTF..seriously WTF man!

  • che

    album is sick, horrible review

  • DAVEO

    i am the west.....coast newfoundland

  • Anonymous

    Cube you are done go making some stupid family movies

    • Chadwick B

      Man yall folks really gotta cut all this hating out! Killing us! Dawg! Yall are killing us! No support at all

  • fdatsouthmuzik

    Good album ill buy it so much better than most of the musik that came out this year. cube always goes hard you cant expect that 90s feel no more... he is a legend been around forever always makes hot songs... he is still nastier than all these southern crappers. imma give it a FIVE for the haters... would really give ia 3.5-4

  • duck down

    few bad songs but the album has a few bangers

  • Knuckz

    Personally, I like the album. However, Cube made it seem as if this was going to be a West Coast album and it is not. If not for the title and his interviews people would've accepted the album more. Also, if this were a new artist's debut, it would work. However, Cube has paid his dues. It is not up to a legendary 20+ yr vet to bring the West back. It is for the ingrates that say No Country For Old Men to do that. Cube built the West and people need to stop expecting the old school artist to sound the same as they did when they came in the game. No successful MC sounds the same as their debut. From Jigga to Nas to Snoop to Eminem to Cube. It is hard to live up to other people's expectations when you are looking to change.

  • Anonymous

    this review is flat wrong. This is a good album. To prove my point, the reviewer names 9 tracks that are great, 2 that he feels have a more texas sound, then gives it a 2.5 all while saying Cube hasn't lost a step lyrically. GTFOH. Your head will be bobbing off this. This is riding music.

  • Andre Ray

    thats funny yall was thought cube was going to drop a hot album

  • Cash Mo

    When the album was called I am the west, I was just so excited that hard core west coast is back. A little disapointed with the album however a great album don't get it twisted, but Cubes level a little weak. Was expecting some great producers from the west DJ Pooh, DJ Quick, E-A-Ski, Dr. Dre etc. Still better than stuff out there these days. The album just needs to grow on you, listen to it afew times, it's not that bad there are alot of bangers on it but also afew songs that shouldn't be on a album called I am the west. I hope WC new album ain't watered down material. Last album Raw Footage was an amazing album tho. Don't usally agree with reviews but this one was on point, can't give it a 2.5 but an easy 3.5.

  • lll

    NOT GOOD AT ALL CUBE LET EVERYBODY DOWN I GUESS CROOKED I WAS RIGHT "NO COUNTRY FOR OLD" MAN PACK YOUR SHIT UP AND HEAD BACK FOR HOLLYWOOD O'SHEA JACKSON

  • C.

    don't emcees get it yet? the "rawness" is the BEAT! Cube's verse are hard but the beats aint "raw" they are "commercial" (for the most part)

  • junMaf*ckn

    Drtink The Kool Aid is Hard! He called out Eminem AND Dre in that shit!

    • Swamp Thang

      It's crazy but seriously......Diggy Simmons is like the only son of a rapper who's actually droppin' decent music.

    • killaacesssaas

      major let down from cube,after drink your cool aid everybody thought this album would go hard like raw footage instead we get ice cube loosing direction and rappin with his lil gay fucking sons from suburbz

  • Bubu K

    he dosent care if hes the best rapper or anything like that cuz he got all the money he needs from movies and shows y not make some extra by putting out a cd which by the way wuznt that bad...

  • Anonymous

    YOU TIRED OF BULLSHIT ABC LYRICS? TIRED OF SONGS ABOUT CLOTHES, MONEY AND CARS??? THEN CHECK OUT THE PILL POPPIN BEER DRINKIN BLUNT SMOKIN SPIC FROM NEW JERSEY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXnvuNmXDIE

  • curtj5

    1 star just based off this single. Ice Cube fell off a long time ago, I'm sure I would hate this whole album but I won't bother giving it a chance. His last album was really weak.

    • Chadwick B

      Naa! Man this is a good album dude. Legends like this always come back with classic material. No filler, he is saying something in every song. I do agree that some the songs beats couldve been a little tighter, but this is classic cube mane!

  • bios

    last album was good, this isn't. nice cover though

  • DMV Dave

    Funny ...maybe he should've brought back P.E. producers the Bomb Squad back with him. And pulled D.J. Pooh from a time machine too...

  • Fiddy

    well...i like it, it's not amazing but not bad neither i'd give it a 3/3.5

  • snoopy7

    To be truthful I am highly disappointed about "I Am the West". I think Ice Cube went hard but its production was far from spectacular. I was expecting a "Amerikkka's Most Wanted" like vibe with production from the Bomb Squad and some hardcore sampling and scratching but it is 2010 :( sadly

  • beat down

    its a good album overall few bad songs but good album 3.5

  • slit25

    album is good cube never dissapoints people! and she couldn't make it on her own was raw dude!

  • Maris Pelshs

    album is pretty much good, of course there are bad songs, but 2.5 ? its too hursh.. my opinion is 3.5m, but still one of the best rap albums of 2010, for me song no country for young men - best song for a while..

  • cubefan

    as a cube fan i think this album is not that good , i can't stop listen to raw footage , i am the west supposed to be better but i can't listen it more than once ! but now look , you can't expect cube talking about the same things over and over again , he is a legend , he has the right to do this , unlike lil gayne (who talks about the same shit over and over again) , ice cube proved himself , this wack ass rappers didn't! , my fav song is your money or your life , cube goes hard on that !

  • ECITI

    This is the worst Ice Cube album. But I'll support him. Cos I believe that one day he will kill all this wack nigga rappers with great album. But not this time

  • Jerome

    Give the album a few more run throughs before you write it off. I'm a huge Cube fan but find sometimes, his album hit me after a few times of listenings to it. Some of the beats are below average but the words are normally right on!

  • 718rob

    Bought every Cube album for the last 15 years, and the ones before it. This is his worst effort. I'm so disappointed in Sir Jinx too...

  • Dunno

    I liked 10/15 songs on this album, which I find pretty good. Think Cube went in hard on this album, but of course there are some misses, like e.g. "she couldn't make it on her own", awful beat.

  • Viktor

    The album would've been better if he cut out all the filler and left it with 12 tracks.

  • Viktor

    My favorite songs were Hood Robbin' and Your Money Or Your Life but everything else was pretty average. Urbanian and She Couldn't Make It On Her Own are probably the worst Ice Cube tracks of all time.

  • Irish cube fan

    this album has no replay value at all only about 3 songs on the album are ok rest is wake as fuck, im really really let down with cube on this album