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I Am the West

Ice Cube was once gangsta rap’s great chronicler of everyday brutality. Twenty years and a hugely successful family-comedy movie career later, he’s content to spend his self-released ninth disc brandishing his OG rep (“Google me, bitch!”) and defending his fading West Coast (“I’m down with Angelenos/Go downtown and give a bum a C-note”). But his rants get boring over track after track of bland Nineties G-funk (a promised collaboration with his estranged N.W.A homey Dr. Dre never came through). Only “Hood Robbin,” a somber, seething indictment of post-housing-bubble America has that old realist magic, yoking the rage of Straight Outta Compton to the experience of people who took their kids to see Are We There Yet?

In This Article: Ice Cube

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