In a new interview with Complex gangsta rap icon turned movie mogul Ice Cube has an interesting perspective on the evolution of rap in the last 15 years. According to Cube, “escapism” gangsta rap became so much more popular than music with a message for a few reasons. Check out this excerpt where he breaks it down:
C: In NWA, you guys said what you wanted to say and you never held back-how different is it today?
Ice Cube: I don’t know if it’s different. I don’t know if rappers are holding back. I think the rappers are going with the audience. At some point mainstream media decided to promote hardcore gangster rap to the masses on a big level, and you can’t blame the rappers for that, it was something that [the media] did in the mid ’90s. Now they want to blame us for them taking it and blowing it up. The Viacoms and all these people in the world got to take the blame too. They ain’t no innocent bystanders in this shit either. So if it got out of control or whatever, it ain’t just because of the artist.
Ice Cube: What it is is that they kind of pushed escapism rap, and they pushed the political rap to the back. Political rap is more of a threat than shake-ya-ass, titties, get drunk, take an X pill, whatever the hell type of music-so that’s what they wanted people to be focused on. They didn’t like things were said in the early ’90s, late ’80s,that have been lost until now. In the late ’90s there was no market for this kind of rap. Now through YouTube and people getting their own information through the computer and things like that, people are getting what they really want and they’re not being programmed. This kind of music that’s coming back is real. There was a wave to stomp it out. But it never went all the way out.
CLICK HERE to read the full Complex interview.