Ice Cube is one of hip-hop’s most prolific songwriters to ever pick up a pen or reach for a microphone. His writing ability singlehandedly helped the west coast rise to prominence in the late ’80s and he’s also responsible for penning one of the greatest diss tracks in all-time in “No Vaseline.” However, as of the two decades, the Los Angeles-based lyricist has become a media mogul producing his own movies and running his very own professional basketball association in the BIG3.
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Recently, the gangsta rap pioneer made his way to the Uproxx office as a guest on Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh’s coveted podcast entitled the People’s Party with Talib Kweli to discuss his legacy, his impact on the culture, the success of the BIG3, and more.
With hip-hop purists being cognizant of his pen, the discussion of Ice Cube’s songwriting influence during N.W.A’s early days arose to which he revealed the inspiration behind writing Eazy-E’s most popular song, “Boyz N The Hood.” Cube revealed that he had initially written the cinematic song for a Queens-based rap collective called, Homeboys Only, but they were utterly confused by the context of the song as he described how Dr. Dre influenced Eazy-E to the deliver rhymes. During the interview, Cube said:
“The lyrics was foreign to them. ‘You talking another language, man.’ And I was. It was the sh*t we talk about out here. They didn’t understand what I was talking about so they rejected it and then Dre convinced Eazy to do it.”
The “Steady Mobbin” rapper then went on to reveal that the storytelling raps that he admired during that time influenced him to write the bars stating:
“It was in the nature of (Ice-T’s) ‘6 in the Mornin,’ (Schoolly D’s) ‘P.S.K. (What Does It Mean?),’ so it was in that vein of telling a story. We was all fans of Slick Rick and fans of KRS(-One)… So those was my favorite cats at the time and so I wanted to make a rhyme that talked about what I knew about: Everything going on in the neighborhood.”
With the BIG3 continuously growing and Talib Kweli hoarding music the culture needs, both hip-hop legends have plenty of more to contribute to today’s rap climate. Also, with Ice Cube and Talib Kweli as charismatic of a unit as they are in an interview setting, this episode of the People’s Party has the potential to be one of the greatest pieces of content, Uproxx and Kweli have released to date.
Check out the clip of Ice Cube revealing his inspiration behind writing Eazy-E’s “Boyz N The Hood” below and look out for the full episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli featuring Ice Cube dropping on Monday, Feb. 3.