In an in-depth interview with The Independent legendary California rapper Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson) reflected on his time in hip-hop and how he sees its politicisation and criminalisation worsening in the US.
Jackson was the writer of the iconic N.W.A track F*ck Tha Police’ that saw the collective become the centre of an FBI investigation. Hip-hop has always been political to some extent. However, in his latest interview, the rapper expressed how he sees the genre getting eradicated by the government as more and more figures get hit with RICO charges.
When asked about the upcoming election, Kanye’s support of Trump and the constant battle the US currently finds itself in, Cube responded, “I think people are exhausted by all this bipolarism, but it’s the system that they’re stuck with, so what do you do?”
The rapper recently appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Twitter show and Piers Morgan Uncensored, both right-wing programmes. However, Cube believes that in order to achieve political acceptance of hip-hop, someone needs to step up to the plate.
Elaborating on his stance, Jackson asserted, “The powers-that-be really hate hip-hop in a lot of ways, and they’ve been looking for ways to destroy the spirit of hip-hop, to make people fearful. It’s ridiculous to take music or lyrics into court.”
However, the Crenshaw native believes that in the early-’90s, hip-hop had a broad range of subject matters but has concluded that forces behind-the-scenes have created a monoculture within rap music resulting in materialism, sex and drugs becoming the genre’s focal point. Seemingly frustrated, the rapper divulged, “In the early-’90s, hip-hop was still somewhat of a pure form. Then of course, the agenda changed.”
He continued, “They pushed that kind of music out and popularised the music that ain’t really talking about nothing but sex and cars and girls and clubbing and jewellery and bulls***. They pushed that to the front and made that the most popular rap.” Although to many, it may seem like a conspiracy theory of sorts, Jackson has had enough of the barrage of criminal cases he sees within hip-hop and believes it is not accidental.