By Ismael AbduSalaam
Over 20 years into his career, Hip-Hop legend, actor, and director Ice Cube is showing no signs of slowing down artistically.
On pace to have his second consecutive best-selling, independent Hip-Hop album of the year, Cube explained in an exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com that Raw Footage’s stronger political/social content could not have come at a more opportune time.
“I knew with Laugh Now, Cry Later it was more of a reintroduction. I wasn’t sure if all the antennas would be up to listen to what I really had to say,” Cube reflected. “I had to make a record to show I could more or less still rap on that tip. On this one I could give more of that street knowledge. The timing of the presidential election just fell into place.”
The poignant third single and video “Why Me,” which features Musiq Soulchild, displays Cube personifying the emotions of innocent murder victims, and how the problem of gun violence extends to people around the world.
“What I wanted to do [in the video] was use real people, not a whole bunch of actors. I wanted to show people who were really victims of that kind of violence,” Cube detailed. “So once I knew I was gonna do that I knew the video had the ability to be powerful once we tied it together. We had different scenes of the hood, Somalia, and the Middle East to show it wasn’t a hood issue, but a world problem. And with [director] Benny Boom it would be hard to mess that concept up.”
Referencing the intense fallout of the nation’s economic woes and the lack of any type of personal responsibility, Cube argues the problem extends past government corruption to American culture as a whole.
“Take a show like Oprah Winfrey where every victim gets up there and cries about whose fault it is that they’re this way. We just became a culture of ‘I don’t have to take responsibility, let me just pass the buck.’ You can do anything in America once you apologize,” Cube stated. “Just having that attitude eroded the pride in saying ‘this is my balls and my word.’ Men used to say they were going to do something then they’d do it. Now, you don’t know if he’s going do it or not. It’s too much TV and looking at other people’s lives and [people] not worrying about their own.”
Last week, Houston rapper Scarface revealed in a surprise announcement that he was quitting the rap game after his next album Emeritus.
However, the Texas legend gave himself an out, illuminating his desire to craft one final album; a dream supergroup project between himself, Nas, and Ice Cube.
Upon hearing the news, Cube was ecstatic about moving the project past talk and into the studio.
“Of course, I wouldn’t even think twice about doing that…hell yeah!” Cube declared. “I think the album would be crazy, lyrics would be sick, and Hip-Hop would love it. It’s just making that business happen, that’s the part that gets funky. I ain’t never turned down these kind of projects, they just don’t happen for whatever reasons. But I’m up for some s**t like this because I know we can make a dope record.”
For the latest news, video, and tour info on Ice Cube, visit http://www.icecube.com
Raw Footage is available now in stores