Ice Cube has been making a lot of noise as of late, ever since he announced a new album titled I Am The West.
Over the weekend, the veteran rapper headlined Murs' annual Paid Dues hip-hop festival in San Bernardino. After a long day of performances by numerous acts, Cube hit the stage at around midnight and shortly after debuted his single, "I Rep The West", for the first time. But, that's wasn't all he did. In addition to surprising fans with a first listen of the album, Cube also used his stage time to address the controversy regarding his comments over Los Angeles newcomers.
If you're unaware, Cube has been answering fans' questions in blog entries on his official website (IceCube.com). One topic he spoke about is why he hasn't worked or help push any of L.A.'s newcomers in recent years. He says it's not his responsibility and doesn't plan to any time soon. That, coupled with the bold statement made with the title of his album, has struck a cord with some artists, especially the "new" acts he may, or may not, be referring to.
Rising Watts rapper Jay Rock has been the main artist to took offense to Cube's statements and has been very vocal about it. He says that if Cube is directing his comments at the "New West" collective, then it's as if he's calling him out directly.
Whether or not Cube is calling out any artist directly isn't clear. But, at Paid Dues, he used the stage to further address the situation.
"It's been a gang of motherf***as talking sh** about your boy Ice Cube. I love it though ..." Cube told the crowd. "I got a message to all the new MCs in the house right now. I got love for all the MCs in the house right now, but if you diss the old west I got a problem with you if you diss the old west. You can't diss Dr. Dre. You can't diss Eazy-E. You can't diss Ice-T. You can't diss King Tee. No, you cannot diss Ice Cube," he added. "No, I ain't going for it. And any of you young motherf***ers that do f***in' diss, I got one thing to say before you do it. You better check yourself before you wreck yourself."
Backstage, we were able to have a quick chat with Cube about the attention he's been getting over his upcoming album's title. He tells us he don't care what anybody thinks, because his history gives him the right to make a statement like that.
"I don't care. Either you down, or you ain't. I am the west," Cube told us before performing at Saturday's Paid Dues. "I don't see anybody else who can make that claim, but a few people that's been around before me. That's just how I feel.
"I'm happy. I'm not mad at nothing," he added.
I Am The West is scheduled to drop July 13. For more info and to keep updated on Cube, visit IceCube.com.