Cube talks all things West Coast, including why "Are We There Yet" is more powerful than "Burn Hollywood Burn."
can you say about Ice Cube that hasn’t already been said? If Gangsta
Rap had a Mount Rushmore, you’d expect O’Shea Jackson’s infamous scowl
to be chiseled on it somewhere. As far as Hollywood is concerned, the
likes of Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, and Eva Mendez all owe Cube a debt of
gratitude for getting their initial big screen buzz courtesy of a
Musically, people want another Kill At Will or another Death Certificate,
but once you go to verbal war with the LAPD chief of police, chin check
some of the most high-profile emcees of the era and catch the attention
of the FBI, how much more do you have to prove? It’s almost as if Cube
wrote “The Nigga Ya Love To Hate” two decades too soon.
could have easily sat back, and played it safe on his albums. Instead
he’s still kicking up dust—laughing at newcomers who feel entitled to
his endorsement and discussing Hip Hop, Hollywood and race in candid
terms while the country is divided between party and bullshit and Tea
Party anger. Having just released his eighth album, Cube explained how
“Are We There Yet?” and I Am The West can both be weapons in
the same fight. Both should give people plenty to say, and as usual,
that’s just means everything is working as planned.
Your movie career and the transition to being an independent artist set
the tone for your last two albums. How did your Internet presence,
especially your blog, do that going into this album?
To be honest, there still isn’t that guaranteed connection between the
people you reach on the Internet and those who are going to support the
project. Everybody’s really trying to figure out how the computer helps
you in the long run and if you can really measure it. You never really
know how much time to put into it or how much to push it to get maximum
awareness. I think all you can ask for now is maximum awareness. But it
did pretty good, I guess.
DX: I Am The West and Raw Footage were released within two years of each other, while Laugh Now Cry Later came after a six-year layoff. Do you have a preference on how often the projects are released?
Nah, I just do it how I feel it. I’ll tour off this record for a little
while, then I’ll get to a point where I feel it’s time to start
recording. When I do start recording, I never really put a time limit on
myself, because that always makes you go kind of crazy. If you start
working on a record and you go, “Oh, it’s coming out in May,” that puts
you on this time clock and you start to press.
I always just
start working on the [album], and once I get enough records to feel like
things are coming together, I pick a date. It makes it easier to
complete the record and meet the release date.
DX: How much does you being in control of the label and being independent factor into all of that?
A lot. When people give you money to do something, they want it done as
soon as possible. If I was on a [major] label, the record would
probably come out a little faster, but the music