Ice Cube recently sat down with Rob Markman as part of Genius’ For The Record video series. During the interview, the West Coast gangsta rap pioneer opens up about his long-awaited solo album Everythangs Corrupt and explains why he’s never afraid to speak his truth.
“You can’t be a safe rapper,” he says. “You gotta tell it how it is. My records, nobody’s exempt. Nobody gets a free pass on my records. I’m probably gonna talk about something you don’t want to hear and you probably ain’t gonna like how I put it.
“But it’s gonna be real and it’s not going to be done to do nothing but help you pass that moment, help you through it. Or highlight that you fuckin’ up. I’ve always been like that. To be able to cut through the bullshit.”
As the conversation turns to diss records, the Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem battle is brought into play and Cube revisits his stance regarding his N.W.A diss record, “No Vaseline.”
After the MGK-Slim Shady beef popped off last September, fans of MGK insisted his “Rap Devil” diss track was the best diss record of all time. Cube was quick to put them in their place, tweeting, “Yeah right. One on one will never beat one on four (plus Jerry Heller). Murdered the track, killed the group. Game over.”
Yeah right, one on one will never beat one against four (plus Jerry Heller). Murdered the track, killed the group. Game over. https://t.co/7t6exeTtCv
— Ice Cube (@icecube) September 4, 2018
“That song was like a bowling ball,” Cube tells Markman. “Just knocked everything down out the way. What am I gonna say? What the fuck am I gonna say? But it’s been some great diss tracks, but I just feel like time, space, place, it was right. I think it’s really timing that makes the battle. Where are the groups in their career and how hot are they at the time they go at it.”
He then gives a rundown on some of his picks for best diss tracks, which — in addition to “No Vaseline” — includes Tupac Shakur’s “Hit Em’ Up,” LL Cool J’s “Rock The Bells” and Kool Moe Dee’s response, “Let’s Go.”
“Some of my favorites is the original ‘Rock The Bells,’ ‘Let’s Go’ with LL and Kool Moe Dee,” he says. “‘Let’s Go’ is crazy, too. ‘Jack The Ripper,’ great record. Then you got disses like Nas and Jay [‘Ether’ and ‘Takeover’], that’s just crazy. Tupac, Biggie going back at it. ‘Hit Em Up’ was crazy.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Cube touches on his BIG3 basketball league and explains why “Jackin For Beats” was never a diss track.
Watch the full interview up top.