Tuesday, June 06, 2006

laugh now, laugh more later

Ice Cube
"Laugh Now, Cry Later"
(Lynch Mob/Virgin)

Before becoming a decent box office draw, Ice Cube was a rapper who defined the West Coast territory more than his former NWA brethren and certainly more than his Grammy-winning contemporaries. Cube consistantly put out great records from the beginning of his solo career in 1991 up until 1994, with his "Bootlegs and B-sides" compilation of remixes and singles.

Then came the horrendous "War and Peace" discs, a double album set of party jams and generic gangsta rap. The thing that set Ice Cube apart from any no-name gangsta rapper was that his vivid tales could be balanced with political, social and cultural commentaries, such is the case with classic songs like "No Vaseline," "Black Korea," "Wicked," and "Cave Bitch."

For the last year or two, Cube has promised us a back-to-basics album which has been released as "Laugh Now, Cry Later." For the record, it's not the worst Ice Cube record, but I hope that this lukewarm album won't be his swan song.

There are some good moments on this album, namely "You Gotta Lotta That," "Why We Thugs," and "The N***a Trapp." And then there are some horrible songs such as "Child Support" and "Go To Church." For the most part, however, "Laugh Now" is incredibly boring. The beats are pretty standard West Coast stuff and Ice Cube hardly raps about politics. In fact, many of the songs have to do with how much of a G he still is. Cube, we all know your real name is O'shea, and that is not gangsta.

My recommendation is to stream the album on iTunes and pick which songs you feel is worth downloading. As for Ice Cube, I hope you can still get in touch with QDIII or the Bomb Squad, playa because you still have some decent rhymes left in you. Don't waste them.


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