Thursday, December 3, 2009

3 Play Thursday - Ice Cube.

3 Play Thursday again. Today: Gangsta Rap pioneer Ice Cube.

Few artists symbolize the late 80's gangster rap aesthetic better than O'Shea Jackson, better known to most as Ice Cube. While he's better known for borderline Disney movies nowadays, no rapper epitomized the post-LA riots furor of inner-city Negro anger better than Cube in his prime. Never mind the fact that Cube was raised in a two-parent suburban household, went to college, and has never had so much as a parking ticket. The man's never had to justify his thug, and I ain't about to ask him to. From his humble beginnings with NWA, to his Bomb Squad produced (Cube was the first West Coast rapper to work almost exclusively with East Coast producers) solo albums, to his teaming up with WestSide Connection, Cube's 20+ year rap career is a case study in foresight, business acumen, and re-invention. Seriously, when's the last time you heard from MC Ren?

"Who's The Mack?"

Peep all the quotables. "He's gettin' rich, yo his b*tch, and it's like that". "...and almost get his a$$ hit for the crack" "You knew the game, and you still ended up on your back". After all these years, I just realized that was DJ Pooh playing all 3 "Mack" roles.

"Stay True To The Game"

Much like every rapper (and some singers) clowns Yung Berg today, MC Hammer was the hip hop whipping boy of the early 90's. Ice's classic "Stay True" was probably the best of a batch that also included 3rd Bass' "Pop Goes The Weasel" and EPMD's "Crossover". And yeah, that's DJ Pooh, yet again, playing the role of Hammer.

"We Be Clubbin'"

No need to lie, I was a lot less enthused about the Crunk/Scrip Club Soundtrack era Cube. Sure, this banged in the club, but it just ain't fee right. This coincided with the release of The Player's Club , but there's no excuse for the 2-3 album malaise he fell into. Thankfully this nonsense subsided around the same time Lil' John went back to the midnight shift at Sizzler, and the regular, "pro Black and gangsta, but lives in Malibu" Cube returned.

"Smoke Some Weed"

Okay, so it's a little silly to listen to a 40 year old man rap about smokin' weed when he's got kids in private school and made movies like Are We There Yet? But tell me this album throwaway from the slept-on Laugh Now, Cry Later don't make you wanna go buy a nickel bag[1] bang. Cop the headphones, and turn this way up.

Question: What's your favorite Ice Cube song?

[1] This is only a joke. AB and do not condone the possession, purchase, usage, or distribution of illegal drugs. My mama reads this site, don't get it twisted.

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