I Am the West

Ice Cube released his ninth album and it’s pretty whack

By Jonathan Feist

Ice Cube, one of the pioneers of West-Coast Gangsta-Rap, released his ninth album last week, entitled I Am the West.

The album contains a flurry of high-intensity, classic West Coast style beats, with Ice Cube’s distinctive, aggressive tone playing clear through the speakers thanks to today’s high quality studio recordings.

Cube did not collaborate with long-time producer and member of the N.W.A. posse, Dr.Dre, on this project. Instead, the album was produced by the likes of JIGG, T-Mix, and the Fliptones, to name a few.

These producers created a lot of West Coast beats, synths and all, but definitely had a more new-school feel. The track “No Country for Young Men” definitely gives off that vibe. Also produced on the album were some typical club bangers such as “It Is What It Is” and “She Couldn’t Make it On Her Own.” The album even has a rock-inspired beat on “Drink the Kool-Aid.”

I Am the West is definitely a step above a lot, if not most, of the popular music that is being released today, but there is something unnatural about Cube’s lyrics.
Ice Cube’s flow is undeniable, but it’s surprising to hear the star of Are we There Yet rap about topics such as “just anotha day, AK gunplay.”

There is no denying Ice Cube’s unmatched influence in the gangsta rap scene since he released “Straight Outta Compton” alongside N.W.A., but his credibility has run dry. Every song is about being a gangster, “mackin” hoes, getting dough (money), and smoking weed. We all know he’s is an ex-gangster turned family man who makes Disney-style movies.

Ice Cube is now married, with three kids, and in his late forties. His two kids, OMG and DoughBoy, even rap on the album! This is not the type of guy running around with his Uzi spraying all over the place with hoes riding in his chromed Cadillac, as he makes it seem on the album. That’s the guy he used to be.
I suppose it’s relevant for him to talk about the other “whack rappers” releasing music today, given the current state of hip-hop, and also relevant for him to talk about his money, but the rest of his lyrics are simply overdone.

Ice Cube delivers good punch lines, solid references, and a killer flow, but I Am the West will certainly not be in my next playlist.

If you want to hear what made Cube who he is today, get his album with N.W.A. “Staight Outta Compton,” with lyrical masterpieces “Fuck the Police,” “Gangsta Gangsta,” and “Straight Outta Compton,” or even his first solo album Amerikkka’s Most Wanted, but leave I Am the West on the shelves.
Real talk!


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