Los Angeles, CA – Ice Cube was a recent guest on Power 106 FM’s Nick Cannon Mornings where he broached a variety of topics. The conversation kicked off with Cannon praising Cube for his undeniable impact on Hip Hop culture.
But ultimately, the discussion turned to Cube’s Top 5 MCs and the BIG3 co-creator had no problem naming his favorites.
“I always look at the influencers, the pioneers, the ones who virtually created a style or flavor all they own,” he said. “So my greats are people like Melle Mel, Ice-T, Chuck D, KRS-One and I’ll put Rakim in there.
“To me, those are the trendsetters, the ones who changed the trajectory of the game in a major way. It was about skills and talent, and really having their own style and taking it and running with it.”
Cannon then spoke about the perceived lack of leaders in the Hip Hop space. Cube explained he’d witnessed a shift in the early ’90s from more politically-charged lyrics to what he dubbed “escapism rap.”
“I saw that shift happen around ’93,” he said. “It went from focusing on the rappers that really have something to say about our condition to the rappers who just wanted to escape our condition through weed, women, jewelry, cars, money … it’s escapism. Now pills — all that stuff is escapism rap and it’s easier to accept because when you listening to somebody who’s really telling you the real, it’s hard. Them records are not easy to listen to sometimes, especially when you know that they’re talking directly to you.
“Some people, when they go to kick it and go get entertained, they don’t want to hear all that — they wanna just party. That’s what we’ve been fighting against … not caring, not really worried about tomorrow type music over the ones that make you think, the ones that make you focus, the ones that make you change your behavior, the ones who trying to help you get out the situation you in.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Cube talked about the BIG3, the ills of social media and the next Friday movie.
Watch the full clip above.