Ice Cube recently chopped it up with DBIC Magazine for an upcoming issue dropping this November 1. The west coast veteran explained why he chose to title his most recent release I Am the West, saying that the title is not only is it a celebration of his home state’s contribution to the rap game, but a call to arms for all west coast emcees. 

“I think after you’ve been in the game as long as I have, you can’t take anything for granted,” he said. “You have to re-establish yourself. The big dog has to piss on trees every now and then to let everybody know he’s still there. That’s kind of the premise for the record being named I Am the West. Another one is to celebrate what we’ve added to the game of hip-hop and not shy away from it. We’re letting people know that we’re proud of where we come from. Hip-hop has turned on its ear because of the west coast. We’re not gonna be forgotten in this industry, even though the west coast has faced a backlash or abandonment from the industry towards the kind of music we do. It’s really a celebration of our contribution to hip-hop.”

In other news, BET will premiere its “Top 10 Rappers of the 21st Century” tonight at 8PM ET. Hosted by Big Tigger, a panel of judges that includes Jermaine Dupri, DJ Vlad, Boi 1nda, Greg Street and others will debate who are the top ten most influential and skilled rappers of the 21st century.

Prior the debate, BET asked its viewers to decide the top fifteen rappers of the 21st century thus far based on the parameters that the artist released his debut album in 1999 or later. The list chosen by BET’s viewers includes 50 Cent, Drake, Eminem, Eve, Fabolous, Game, Gucci Mane, Jadakiss, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Nelly, Rick Ross, T.I. and Young Jeezy. Viewers wanting a piece of the action can log on to to participate in their Virtual Court voting system.