Ice Cube shared some not-so-secret information about why political and conscious Hip-Hop disappeared from the airwaves in the early 1990s.
N.W.A. co-founder Ice Cube may not talk with the angst that he did as a teenager, but that doesn’t mean that doesn’t have anything explosive to say.
The rapper/filmmaker sat down with Bloomberg Politics for a wide-ranging interview that covered everything from N.W.A.’s induction into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame to the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the 2016 Presidential race.
But, there is a moment when the “You Know How We Do It” rapper talked about a movement to keep political and conscious Hip-Hop off the airwaves.
From the Bloomberg interview:
“[Political/conscious rap], it’s not rewarded at all. If you go political and hardcore with it, you just kinda set yourself straight into the underground. Gatekeepers of the industry, about 1993, gatekeepers of the airwaves started to say, ‘That kind of political rap, really not gonna play that. Not really our style.’ They started to play and promote the escapism type of rap. Sex, drugs, money, cars, women, clothes. Just all of the excess became more popular and more exposed. So, you have new Hip-Hoppers saying, ‘How do I get famous?’ It’s not like Public Enemy or Boogie Down Productions, because I’m not seeing their stuff as much anymore. It’s the new stuff, that mafioso rap started taking over.”
The conspiracy to take down “conscious” Hip-Hop has been a topic that has floated around for years, but with no real concrete proof to back it up. There have been supposed “secret meetings” but no one has ever come forward and said that they were at this meeting, nor has anyone dropped any names of people who were at these meetings.
But here, Cube, an artist who was present when the so-called shift happened actually offers a perspective that is believable. We might actually be able to trust what he’s saying because truthfully, he is one of the artists guilty of shifting right along with the times. After all, this is the man who gave us “True To The Game” and then came out with “Put Your Back Into It.” To his credit though, he has returned to his roots after going the independent route.
At other points of the interview Ice Cube shared his thoughts on the need for more diversity in Hollywood, Donald Trump and how Americans vote for him because he looks like their “boss” as well as why he had to touch on the gang violence in Chicago in his new Barbershop movie.