Ice Cube loses the beef with 'new' West Coast rappers
One of the worst kept secrets within West Coast hip-hop circles was the conflict between Ice Cube and the so-called New West clique, a loose coterie that includes Jay Rock, Nipsey Hussle, Glasses Malone, Crooked I and Bishop Lamont. The latter two had promised to make a "No Country for Old Men" mixtape aimed obliquely at Cube and other rappers they felt were impeding their advancement opportunities.
To paraphrase Cube's position, he rightly questioned why it was his responsibility to help put on other rappers. Things never worked out as planned with Da Lench Mob (Where art thou, T-Bone?) and he latelyseems more concerned with helping to shepherd his children's career. Oh, and run the multimillion-dollar enterprise that is being the rapper-actor-producer born O'Shea Jackson.
Most tellingly of hip-hop 2010 is that the beef simmered but never really cooked. The snarling Ice Cube of "Westside Slaughterhouse" and "No Vaseline" is currently in mogul mode. Granted, his new "I Am the West" record made myriad subliminal attacks at his would-be young rivals, but refused to call them out by name.
Conversely, the New West rappers missed an easy opportunity to piggyback off Cube's notoriety by never pushing any of the diss tracks they were purportedly planning. Plus, some good music might have come out of it, not to mention a few good "Janky Promoter" jokes.
However, cooler heads have prevailed. Cube recently told AllHipHop.com that, "All that [stuff] is squashed, [we] are keeping the unity on the West Coast. They know I'm down to work any of them at any time, so there really aint anything to perpetuate. I'm glad [we] was men about it and just said 'Yo, it aint no beef' and squashed it. The New West and the Old West can always work together to make money."
In the meantime, the New West presumably awaits its invite to appear on the "Are We There Yet?" TV show.
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times