Hip-hop veteran Ice Cube has recently spoken about the hip-hop industry in relation to West Coast artists, and why current standards are detracting from California’s essence.
From Cube’s perspective, the ideal West Coast sound is being cheapened by industry politics.
“I ain’t gonna say running away, that might be the wrong words to use, but just saying kinda getting away from what we do best,” Cube said in an interview when asked about artists running away from the West Coast sound. “Like, just tryna follow the industry. The industry got us out here on an island; we out here and we don’t get no light or very little [light]. So artists have been tryna figure out what we need to do to get that light. And I feel like with this record, we don’t need to do nothin’, we do what we do, have fun with it. Do a record that fans would enjoy and kinda leave it at that and let the chips fall where they may.” (XXL Mag)
In a recent interview, Cube stressed the importance of acknowledging hip-hop as an art form.
“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.” (Billboard)
Last month, Cube named his top favorite West Coast emcees.
“Snoop to me is the ultimate rapper ’cause he got everything…Too $hort is simply great. He still got one of of the purest rap styles of early rap…Game is ferocious like a pitbull. He one of them rappers where his voice makes everything sound good, just like D.O.C. [Ice-T] was the first person to be accepted nationwide by the hip-hop industry…E-40‘s style is all styles…Kurupt‘s style is complicated and hard, like razor blade hard…” (Complex)
Cube’s new I Am The West album debuted on the sales chart last week.
West Coast rapper Ice Cube’s I Am The West lassoed the No. 22 spot. Headed into week two, the rap veteran’s new LP has sold 22,300 records. (SOHH Sales Wrap)
Check out some recent Ice Cube footage below: