Guest Author - Undrell Maholmes
Lately hip-hop has been a lot of nursery rhyme choruses and vocoder heavy singles. It seems that everyone has forgotten what hip-op was about. And then came Raw Footage. Ice Cube's timing couldn't have been better. Just when you thought it was over he delivers his 8th album to remind us what hip-hop is.
Raw Footage is pretty much the same Ice Cube from N.W.A, just more focused and grown up. Raw Footage plays out very cinematic like. "What Is A Pyroclastic Flow?" is narrated by Keith David and opens up the album. This intro sums up Ice cube's legendary flow. Next Cube stomps through on haters with "I Got My Locs On" (Feat. Young Jeezy). Next up is "It Takes A Nation To Hold Us Back". Cube lashes out at big corporations and other vultures trying to rob hip-hop for everything. He vents his frustrations with the industry pushing more commercial, pop-rap. Cube vows to never sellout to the machine.
Cube again gives critics and naysayers brass knuckles to the grill. He takes the blame for hip-hop and carries it all on his shoulders. "Gangster Rap Made Me Do It" is classic Cube. One listen to this track and it's clear that Ice Cube hasn't lost his touch. His rhymes and lyricsare still as potent today as they were in his N.W.A days.
On "Hood Mentality" he raps: If you don't wanna to shake that hood mentality/ How we supposed to change our reality/. Cube holds the mirror up and asks hip-hop to examine itself and to evolve. Again, this is classic Cube material. The message rings true and is sure to make listeners think.
On "Stand Tall" Cube encourages us all to do just that. "Stand Tall" is an anthem for everyone facing or that has been through trials and tribulations. This song is very motivating and Ice Cube delivers this without sounding too preachy, yet he still gets his message across.
Raw Footage is classic Ice Cube material, 16 tracks of raw Cube and no filler. Classic Cube fans won't be disappointed, he sounds like he did when he first hit the scene. Throughout the whole album he sets the precedent to put hip-hop back on track, all we can do is hope that hip-hop is taking note.