Ice Cube: Gangsta’ Rap, Vanguard

14 years ago view-show 770,913

By:  Will “Deshair” Foskey


Just waking up in the morning, gotta’ thank God. I don’t know, but today seems kinda’ odd. No barking from the dog; no smog, and Momma cooked us breakfast with no hog.


      Do you recognize a classic when you read one? Do you recognize an “Icon” when you see one? You should, because you’re now rockin’ with the one of the greatest to ever do it; Ice (place expletive here) Cube. You may know him as one of the original members of the immortal Rap legacy, N.W.A. You just might know Cube as the silver screen giant starring in classics like, “Boyz n’ the Hood”, “Friday”, “Barbershop” and a countless amount of hits in between.


Me personally, I know Ice Cube for being one of the founding fathers of Gangsta’ Rap. I know Ice Cube for his dynamic songwriting skills, his signature snarl & his political acumen. I know Ice Cube as you should know him… but if you aren’t as familiar as you should be with West Coast Royalty, this exclusive sit-down will do the trick. With his latest album, “Laugh Now, Cry Later” moving off the shelves, Ice Cube talks about his first week sales, clears up the Oprah drama and speaks on his reasons for going Independent.


At what time did you decide that going totally Independent with “Laugh Now, Cry Later” was the best decision for you?


Ice Cube: I was just kicking it at home after XXX (State of the Address) came out. At that time, people were just trying to shove movies on me. And I was like, “man, I need to get back in the studio.” I had just did a few records on Lil Jon’s “Crunk Juice” album. He gave me some beats to work on, so I just put everybody off for a week, and basically never came out. I just stayed in the studio knocking out songs to a point that when I looked up, I had 6 to 7 songs completed.


My contract had just run out at Capitol. I thought to myself, “Why should I go and take these songs to some record company?” All they are going to do is put me on some conveyor belt. I made that decision to do this album for my fans and not for the ulterior motives that Major labels try to suck you into.


From start to finish, how long did it take to complete the album?


Ice Cube: I just went on and kept recording for about a year and some change. I’ve completed about 30 songs and narrowed it down to 17.


140,000 plus copies sold in your first week of sales. When you received the final tallies, were you satisfied with the numbers, and if not, what did you originally project?


Ice Cube: I was satisfied with the numbers. I really didn’t have any mental projections at all, because I made my mind up that I was doing this for my fans. So I didn’t care about how much it sold. All that I cared about was that the people who bought it, liked it. The shit can sell a million copies in the first week, but if people think the album is garbage, what good is that million sold at the end of the day? After a few years with my music and my movies, I’ve developed an attitude that no matter how you see or hear me, bootleg or whatever, do you like it? Are you still happy with Cube at the end of the day? If there is a disappointment, you are going to spend your time and money elsewhere. That started to become my concern about 7 or 8 years ago. It’s all about the QUALITY.


Earlier this year, you were highly publicized by your observations which involve Oprah Winfrey not inviting you on her show. After I did a poll on females who are within the same demographic of her audience, most of them only knew of you as the actor from “Friday”, “Barbershop”, etc. For all they’ve known, the group N.W.A. could have been a wrestling foundation. Do you feel that this is the only case where your past has determined your overall future with the mainstream audience, because of what you’ve pioneered?


Ice Cube: Maybe… she (Oprah) is just one person. I don’t know what’s going on in her head. I was on her show back in 1990 as a part of the Boyz n’ the Hood cast. I haven’t been invited, ever since. So maybe something happened back then, but I don’t know what it was. It has to be a personal thing. I mean, it has been in the media a lot, but I’m not really trippin’ over it. I just had to let it be known, because people were saying, I saw your show on Oprah; why weren’t you there? The “Black and White” show, that’s yours right? I thought that was your show, what’s up? I started getting those questions so I had to address it. I had let the “Barbershop” show slide. I figured that Oprah just wanted to pump up Eve and Cedric. But with Black and White, I couldn’t let that one slide.


So what you’re saying is that this situation is heavily publicized, but you’re not worrying about it at all.


Ice Cube: I would love an answer. I’d love to be on the show. But she doesn’t make or break me. She didn’t put money in my pocket or take money out of my pocket.


Looking ahead, how many more songs from the album do you plan on making a single out of?


Ice Cube: We’re looking at a few songs. One of them is, “Doin’ What It Pose 2DO.” We’re looking at, “Growing Up.” And we’re also looking at, “Holla @ cha’ Boy.” I’m leaning towards Growing Up, because I believe that it’s a song that the people can get with. I think that if we go in that route, it will be a real creative video and situation because the lyrics take you back into my past. I would hope that it takes off like, “Today was a Good Day,” took off.


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