Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
10/31/2003 6:57:48 AM
Tags and topics realted to this article include Westside Connection, Ice Cube and Mack 10.
Many things in life work in cycles, and the rap game is no exception – the game tends to move between hard-core rap and pop/R&B rap. After the death of Tupac, many artists emerged as “pop-acts,” and artists like Ja Rule thrived with R&B radio friendly cuts. The game now seems to be moving back toward its hard-core roots, as even Ja Rule is looking to reestablish street credibility in his music. Westside Connection looks to play a major role in the return of hard-core hip-hop with their upcoming album Terrorist Threats, as they attack R&B rappers while confronting rappers who attempt to launch a rap career by marketing street credibility.
“So many people are going soft, so many love songs on the radio that I felt like I probably wouldn’t be able to buy nothing I liked unless I bought my own stuff,” Ice Cube explains. “It was just time to be hard-core and not be so damn soft all the Goddamn time. The mixture of R&B is killing the music.”
The albums lead single “Gangsta Nations,” a thumping, Fred Wreck-produced song, pays tribute to the West Coast’s standing as the premier gangster rap region. In between Nate Dogg’s poignant chorus, Ice Cube, Mack 10 and WC call out fake gangsters and explain that being “gangster” is more than it appears.
On the sizzling “So Many Rappers In Love,” the group calls out rappers who are watering down the art form into a cheesy R&B-rap hybrid. “If it ain’t rough it ain’t me and I refuse to turn r-a-p into R&B,” Mack 10 raps on the confrontational cut. “You went from hard-core to pop, just to be on top/I give Cool J his props and that’s where it stops.”
There’s no mistaking that Mack 10 is disgusted by the development. “These cats kill me because they’re turning rap into R&B,” he says. “They used to be separate. Now, these rap records sound like The Whispers, The Temptations or some love song. I refuse to do that. I’m going to keep it gutter and keep it gangsta.”
The group also looks at the paradoxical place violence has in our society on the telling “Super Star.” Most people in society condemn violence, however in the rap game it seems as though jail time and bullets give rappers instant credibility, regardless of their talent.
“Everybody likes the bad guy and everybody wants to see the man who’s been through hell and back, what he’s got to rap about,” Ice Cube says. “It’s to the point where you don’t even have to be that good. All you have to do is get shot, murder somebody, have the right jail record and you can get on. We’re addressing that and saying that if we want to go double platinum we must get a double murder.”
The album is set to hit stores in early December.
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