Ice Cube Talks Gangsta Rap Origins and ‘Official’ N.W.A. Biopic
During the interview, Cube offers his opinion on what skills a dope emcee should possess.
“Confidence goes a long way. You gotta have your own style, your own flavor,” he says. “You can’t come up there trying to be like your favorite emcee, you got to be an original. Your music has to move people. People have to get on it, you know, right off the jump. That’s hard for established artists — for new artists it’s that much harder.”
Elsewhere, Cube reflects on why gangsta rap became such a powerful and political movement during the ’90’s era of hip-hop.
“I just think that, you know, this is a place [California] where it originated from when it comes to talking about what’s going on in the streets,” he says. “And by this being the original place, it has power. It has an aura to it. And I think the whole country is as fascinated with L.A. living as they are with something like the Sopranos, something where they want to know more but they don’t want to get no closer.
“It’s kinda that. That feel, you know. It’s a forbidden fruit in a lot of ways and you know, its still mysterious and dangerous. This is the land of surf and sun in a lot of ways so it’s a crazy contrast.”
Finally, Cube was asked about his friendship with Dr. Dre. The two West Coast titans seemed distant from each other as of late. “[We talk] every now and then. We’re trying to put this N.W.A. movie together. This is the real one,” he states.
For those who don’t know, there are two N.W.A.-related projects in development. One by the estate of Eazy-E and Ruthless Records label and the Gary Gray-directed biopic that Cube is executive producing.
“That other one that you heard about was bulls—. This is the official one. We’re taking it to the nooks and crannies, I think deeper than any other article or documentary on the group,” he shares. “These are the intimate conversations that helped forge N.W.A. To me I think it’s interesting to anybody who loves that era and I don’t know any other movie where you can mix gangster rap, the FBI, L.A. riots, HIV and f—ing uh, feuding with each other. This movie has everything from Darryl Gates and the battering ram.”
Watch Ice Cube’s ‘It Was a Good Day’ Video