Ice Cube Says Kanye Took Backpack Rap Mainstream

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Ice Cube and N.W.A. were certainly pioneers in making Gangtsa Rap a popular sub-genre in hip-hop, so the Hollywood icon knows a thing or two about setting trends. In a recent interview with REVOLT, Cube credited another rapper for shifting the culture, stating that  Kanye West made backpack rap mainstream.

A decade removed from Ye’s classic debut: The College Dropout, the Ride Along star described the paradigm shift in his own words. “I think he carved out his own niche in Hip Hop,” said Cube. “I think the style that he started, which a lot of us called it backpack rappin’, it was underground. Kanye kind of brought it, to me, to a level where it was just as respected as any kind of Rap. He brought it from the underground and made it – not mainstream-mainstream, but mainstream Rap where it could hold its own up against Gangsta Rap, up against the Native Tongues, up against whatever style you want to talk about. I just think Kanye was the start of that niche right there.”