Former N.W.A. rapper and South Central Los Angeles native Ice Cube is a legendary rapper and is widely considered one of the forefathers of gangsta rap. Alongside Dr Dre, MC Ren and Eazy-E, he made history as a member of the iconic 1980s Compton hip-hop collective.
The N.W.A. icon is one of hip-hop’s most respected figures and is looked up to by many, and several artists have cited him as their favourite MCs. As such, Brooklyn lyricist Talib Kweli invited Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson) to speak about his influences on his podcast Peoples’ Party.
During his conversation with Kweli, Jackson was asked who his favourite rapper was, to which he responded, “Chuck D is my favourite emcee of all time! But my top five…Melle Mel [is] in there, Ice-T is in there, Chuck D, KRS-One and Rakim. These are the ones that impacted me, not just as a person who loves hip-hop but as a black dude trying to navigate what the hell is going on out here.”
He continued, “And so I wanted to be in that class and that category. I didn’t wanna just be rhyming for the sake of riddling. I wanted to have things to say, make an impact and move people the way Chuck moved me.”
Ice Cube is consistent in his top five artists as on The Art Of Dialogue podcast, he named the same list, stating, “A great MC, I believe who taught everybody that they needed to bring more style to they rhymes is KRS-One.”
He continued, “Another guy that is my favourite of all time who introduced consciousness on another level into rap and never waivered, and I give that to Chuck D. Another one is another trendsetter who is one of my OG’s, who helped the West Coast get on the map is Ice-T.”
Ice Cube has previously revealed his top ten and has admitted that Eminem is in there. Jackson also has an affinity for the often-overlooked and unappreciated West Coast lyricist Rass Kass. You can listen to Ice Cube and Talib Kweli speak in the video below.