ICE CUBE(July 2010) | Interview By:
Dubcnn was among a privileged few to sit with the legendary Hip Hop icon,
Ice Cube. The room of interviewers were chomping at the bit to chat with the
20 year Rap veteran and Cube enthusiastically talked about his new album, I
Am The West, and his stance on the simmering debate over Old West vs. New
Cube also discusses what role his successes out side of Hip Hop play in his
music today. Aspiring entrepreneurs will want to read about the importance
of vision in Cubeís illustrious career. Ever the mogul, we also learn about
two of Cubeís new film projects: the ESPN documentary Straight Outta L.A.
and his new film Lottery Ticket.
This is a must read not only for Ice Cube fans but lovers of Hip Hop. Is
Cube The West? Take a few minutes to listen and read and you can judge for
.......................................................................................... Dubcnn Exclusive Ė Ice Cube
By: Javon Adams
Ice Cube Interview Audio - July 2010: Download
Interviewer #1: The I Am The West album is coming out, what is the
statement behind that title right there?
Cube: Itís kinda self explanatory. You know, I am the West. When you sum
it up and you look at longevity and continuity and contentÖit sums it
up. Thereís only a few people that can be on the West Coast Mount
Rushmore and Iím one of them. So to me it is what it is.
Interviewer #1: You did the Rock the Bells last year and now you
are headlining this Paid Dues. What made you want to be a part of all of
these huge independent festivals recently?
Cube: I love it. This is the world we come out of. We come out of the
independent world with Ruthless. Even though we were quickly signed by
Priority (Records) the mentality had always stayed independent. By me
doing Laugh Now, Cry Later in 2006 and kind of throwing my hat in as an
artist in the independent worldÖweíd been independent with Lench Mob
Records since í94 with KD and Caution. So this is right up my alley.
Interviewer #1: Youíre independently putting out the documentary
with the Raiders too. Whatís that project about?
Cube: Well, thatís not necessarily independent. Thatís with ESPN for
their 30 for 30 and they approached me to do it. They have 30 film
makers to do these filmsÖsports films or anything you wanted to do. I
picked Straight Outta L.A. from when the L.A. Raiders were in L.A.
because it affected NWA so much and I was kinda like, nobody would have
told that story right unless I did itÖso I jumped at the chance.
Dubcnn: With Lench Mob Records when your putting out projects
now and being independent, how do you judge success? Whatís a successful
project for you?
Cube: Well, right now itís really if my fans like it. If my core fans
like the projectÖI really canít trip on numbers because numbers come and
go. Iíve had records that sell a whole lot and records that havenít sold
a whole lot. But to me itís not really about that. Itís about whether or
not your core fan enjoys the record. Because to me thatís the only
success an emcee really can measure himself off of.
I never was a fan of measuring yourself off of sales because those
numbers come and they go. Vanilla Ice has one of the highest selling Hip
Hop albums in Rap history (laughs). But who cares how much money you
make if you donít like it? So to me thatís the most important thing. You
know, rappers in the Ď90ís go caught up in the ĎI got platinum on the
wall and I got gold on the wallí but they ainít got no lyrics in the
mouth. So I just wanted to go back to the essence. So I measure myself
on peopleís enjoyment.
Interviewer #2: Whatís it like being 20 years in the game and
having all of the younger generation looking up to you now? Back in the
day you used to look up to peopleÖhow does it feel to have the roles
Cube: It feels good, you know? I love all the young emcees that
are trying to do their thang. I know its been going back and forth about
the New West ÖI got love for the New West, I mean why wouldnít I? But I
donít got love for nobody dissing the Old West, you know what I meant?
Thatís where I got a problem because we put it down. We made it
possible. We got some light shined this way to make it possible for all
that come after us. And they gotta pay respect to that. And they canít
diss that. And if they do, then they got to see me.
Interviewer #2: Youíve definitely paid dues.
Cube: Definitely and thatís why Iím here. The Paid Dues Festival.
Interviewer #3: Cube? Can I call you Mr. Cube?
Cube: You can call me Mr. Cube. Iíll take it.
Interviewer #3: Youíve been doing so many things in
entertainmentÖIím feeling like thereís a cookbook next in line. (laughs)
Cube: Nah man. Iím not gonna work on no damn cookbook. Yíall donít wanna
eat my cooking. Trust me.
Dubcnn: With the anniversary of Amerikkaís Most Wanted 20 years agoÖone
of the things that attracted me to you in terms of your rapping style
was the passion and the furrowed eyebrow. It seems like youíre really
getting back to that the last three albums. Does success (in particular)
the success youíve had outside of music give you that freedom to really
step outside of what the industry wants and allow you to do what you
really want to do and give the fans what theyíre really clamoring for?
The old Ice Cube with the Jherri Curl and all that.
Cube: As an artist youíre always conflicted because you donít want to be
a one trick pony. You donít want people to say, ĎAh, I heard that back
in í91. Heís doing the same thing.í So you always try to figure out and
calibrate should you flip the script and change the style up or how much
should you keep it the same? Thereís always a balance.
For me, I just stopped worrying about that stuff. To me I just let the
beat take me. I hear the music and the music tells me what I need to do
and how I need to come at it. And I just simplify the process. You know,
I get hot beats but if they donít speak to me and songs donít come off
of those beats then they just sit there, you know? Or Iíll get a beat
and the song will just come up right away. So I just start going back to
the essence on how I used to do music before I got famous and before
people started expecting certain things of me. Now I just do what I feel
and just let the chips fall where they may.
Interviewer #1: Piggybacking off of his question, B.E.T. just
played Boyz in the Hood for the 10,000th time with the Jherri Curl and
the whole thing. Youíre one of the few rappers that can do hardcore Hip
Hop and then turnaround and do Are We There Yet. How do you maintain
that balance of credibility?
Cube: I just be myself. I just feel like if you be yourself then people
will accept you. People know that nobodyís hard 24 hours a day. And that
most people are well-rounded and have a sense of humor and a serious
side. So I felt like itís real to show that. I remember when I was about
to record It Was A Good Day and people in the studio, I ainít gonna name
no names, was like you canít do that record. And I said why the f*ck
not? (laughs) Why canít I do that record? They said, ĎBecause your sh*t
is hard! And if you say youíre having a good day then you ainít hard.í
And I said, ĎBullsh*t! That is hard because itís being realí. And that
should be hard enough. Real should be hard enough. And if real ainít
hard enough then I donít know what the f*ck Iím doing here. So thatís
why I can do that song because I feel like itís true to what it is. Same
reason I can do those movies, you know? I feel like I do got a sense of
humor and I can put it on camera and it doesnít make me any less harder
than what I am right now.
Interviewer #1: Break down (the movie) Lottery Ticket for me.
Itís the new comedy you have coming out with Brandon T. Jackson, Bow
Cube: Itís a movie that was brought to CubeVision that we took on to
produce. Itís starring Bow Wow and itís a good script. Its about what
happens when you win the lottery and the time before you actually get
the money. How hectic your life is and everybody thinks youíre rich
before you even get the money in your hands. Itís dealing with that
moment in time beforeÖeverybody knows you have all this money but you
donít have all this money. Itís kind of how the neighborhood is coming
at you from there. Itís a good movie. It will be out in August.
Interviewer #4: On a different subjectÖwho are you biggest
influences and whoíd you look up to the most when you started?
Cube: My biggest influence in my life is my father. Iím just happy he
stayed around and didnít break out like a lot of fathers do. But I
looked up to people like (Dr.) Dre and Chuck D and Russell Simmons. As
far as filmsÖJohn Singleton and people that I saw my age that were doing
it big. I looked up to those dudes and wanted to do it big too..
Dubcnn: You mentioned Russell Simmons and (you are) a producer,
a director and an artist. You have to have vision. Talk about how vision
plays a part in what youíre doing now and what you plan to do 3, 5, 10
years from now.
Cube: Vision is everything. If you donít see yourself doing it then it
wonít get done. You have to visualize success. Itís to the point where
when I get a good idea my wife and I say, ĎDonít say it out loud because
once it goes in the air somebody else might grab that idea and start
working on it.í So its realÖyou have to visualize success and if you
donít you can never get there. If you never see yourself wining then how
can you win?
My vision is justÖits not a vision of looking 10 or 20 years in front of
me. Iím looking at what is my next move and making sure I execute that
to the fullest. Then I step onto the next. Sometimes you look so much
ahead and you never deal with the job at hand because youíre looking
atÖIím not worried about what I got to do tomorrow. Iím worried about
what I gotta do right now. I keep it simple like that but I also have a
plan for the future but you gotta execute today and the future will
usually take care of itself.
Interviewer #4: Can you tell me about what does paying dues mean
to you? And advice for artists trying to make it in any industry.
Cube: Paying dues is starting from the bottom and doing whatever it
takes to be successful. Iíve carried crates of records for people like
Dre and DJ Yella. Iíve lifted Cerwin Vegaís and put speakers up and all
that kind a sh*t. Itís pay ya dues type of work to get to where you are.
Iíve been in rap contests and battles on Senior Quad and all that sh*t
in high school. All that is paying your dues. Getting in the industry
and paying respect and homage to the people that have been there before
but also wanting to be better then themÖnot dissing them, but wanting to
be better. To me this is all a part of paying your dues and when you do
it right I think you get in a position where Iím in right now.