Ice Cube tells us why ‘N.W.A made it ok for artists to be themselves truly’, opening the door for a raw message in music and why the legacy of N.W.A matters and ‘Straight Outta Compton’ is an important film for this generation.
The legacy of N.W.A reaches far but it was also preceded by other people who broke down barriers for them, Ice Cube explains who did that for them – “N.W.A, we’re not the first people to break these barriers, they were broken by people like Red Fox, people like Richard Pryor, even Eddie Murphy, even Muhammed Ali did alot for whats called ‘swagger’ today, he embodied it. I consider him really the first proffessional rapper was Muhammed Ali, because he embodied what an MC wants to be, tell ya ‘I’ll kick ya ass and I can do it’.”
You have to change the minds of generations
Semtex asks why nothings changed considering how blatant N.W.A were with the message of ‘Fuck the Police’ in condemning the establishment. Ice Cube is realistic about the work that needs to be done “Systematic racism is hard to defeat, it becomes the fabric of everyday life in alot of ways. So its hard for one man even if he’s the president to unravel that kind of racism thats been around for centuries, so we didn’t get into this place overnight, so there’s no way of getting out of it overnight. You have to change the minds of generations and basically certain generations gotta die out and that poison in em hopefully dies with em and the newer generation hopefully will have more understanding with each other because they’re exposed to each other more. We keep working that and keep pushing that rock up the hill, so don’t be surprised, what you gotta do is figure out ‘how can I push back against it’ and do it in your own way and that makes a difference. ‘Fuck the Police’ it made a difference because now the police is scrutinised just as much as criminals, if they do something they get public shame too just like the criminals and before N.W.A that didn’t happen”.
Hear more about Ice Cube talking about working with Dre in the studio for ‘Compton’, hip-hop beefs and his legacy.
Listen to the full #StraightOuttaCompton special with DJ Semtex on BBC 1Xtra now.
Straight Outta Compton has opened in the U.K and is in cinemas nationwide.