This year as we celebrate 50 years of Hip-Hop, Hip-Hop legend Ice Cube shared with us his biggest Hip-Hop influences, the important message behind one of his favorite tracks, and how it shaped him as an artist.
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“I would say Melle Mel, Run-D.M.C., and Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie — the early pioneers that started to make records. Of course, I wasn’t around when they started to do it in the streets, but when they started to make records, I was influenced by the best,” adding that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was also on the list.
LISTEN NOW: Ice Cube on his influences and standing in the game
“Going back to Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, they had a song called ‘The Message’… I used the beat on ‘Check Yo Self,'" Cube noted of the track that really left its mark. “The record had a profound effect on me because it wasn’t just talking about partying and rapping, but it was talking about what was really going on in the streets.”
“To me those are the best lyrics, the ones that really impact and make you think. So when I started to do Hip-Hop that’s the kind of artist I wanted to be. I didn’t just wanna rap to rhyme, I wanted to rap to be able to say things that most people wouldn’t or couldn’t.”
Ice Cube was also asked how it feels to be so highly regarded in the Hip-Hop community. “It feels good because you’re in the game for respect,” Cube answered. “Y’know a lot of people like fame, a lot of people like money, but respect is the most important thing. You want your peers to not look down on you… as just like a one hit wonder or somebody who made a lot of money but didn’t say s***. You wanna speak on what's real and be a respected artist. So, to look thirty years later, to achieve that… to be respected my peers to me is the most important thing.”
WATCH NOW: Ice Cube on his influences and standing in the game
Stay tuned as Audacy continues to celebrate the birth and trailblazing influence of Hip-Hop. Check out audacy.com/hiphopmade all through 2023 for more. And listen to your favorite music on Audacy's Hip Hop Made suite of stations, as well as Conscious Hip Hop, Hip Hop Uncut, Women of Hip Hop, and more -- plus check out our talent-hosted Ed Lover's Timeless Throwbacks and Greg Street's Dirty South Hip Hop!
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