When you think of West Coast hip hop one of the artist that immediately comes to mind is Ice Cube. He is set to drop his tenth studio album Everythang’s Corrupt by the end of the year. Ice Cube has been in the game since 1984 as part of the group C.I.A. The other members were K-Dee and Sir Jinx who made their mark on West Coast hip hop in their own right. He would then go on to join one of the most impactful groups N.W.A to then branch off as a solo artist. It was during this transition where Ice Cube would build and establish ties with the East Coast hip hop movement.
Ice Cube and Sir Jinx relocated to New York City to work on 1990’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted. During this time Ice Cube reached out to the Bomb Squad, the in-house producers for Public Enemy. The album ended up being a co-production between Sir Jinx and the Bomb Squad, most notably Hank Shocklee. The end result was a classic and considered to be one of the most impactful hip hop albums of all-time. Chuck D, front man of Public Enemy made an appearance on the track “Endangered Species”.
Ice Cube – Endangered Species feat. Chuck D
Around that same time Ice Cube would return the favor hopping on Public Enemy’s track “Burn Hollywood Burn” alongside Big Daddy Kane. The song was tied to Public Enemy’s 1990 project Fear of a Black Planet. That same year Ice Cube and Chuck D would work together on the remix to Run DMC’s Back from Hell. In one year Ice Cube would appear alongside three legendary east coast hip hop acts.
Public Enemy – Burn Hollywood Burn feat. Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane
Run DMC – Back from Hell (remix) feat. Ice Cube & Chuck D
In 1992, Ice Cube would continue his run of working with legendary east coast acts. This time around it was landing on Kool G Rap and DJ Polo’s Live and Let Die album on the song “Two to the Head”. The track also featured Scarface and Bushwick Bill from the Geto Boys. The track was unique itself at the time with the fact that you had an east coast artist, west coast artist, and down south artists on the same song. The track was produced by Ice Cube’s co-hort Sir Jinx. This marked the first time ever an East Coast act had rapped over a West Coast produced beat. The following year Cube appeared on Erick Sermon’s solo album No Pressure on “Ill Sh*t” along with his cousin and fellow West Coast artist Kam.
Kool G rap and DJ Polo –Live and Let Die feat. Ice Cube, Scarface, & Bushwick Bill (prod. by Sir Jinx)
Erick Sermon – Ill Sh*t feat. Ice Cube & Kam (prod. by Eric Sermon)
Ice Cube would continue collaborating with prominent East Coast artists in the 2000’s. The first to mention is “Grand Finale”, an ode to a classic N.W.A track. Released in 2004 off of Lil Jon’s Crunk Juice project featuring Ice Cube with Bun B, Jadakiss, T.I., and Nas. Scarface and Nas would link up with Ice cube once again on the remix to “Gangster Rap Made Me Do It” from the 2008 album Raw Footage. The last track to mention was the remix to “Be Easy” from Ghostface Killah’s compilation Ghost Deini, produced by Pete Rock.
Lil Jon – Grand Finale feat. Bun B, Jadakiss, T.I., Nas, & Ice Cube (prod. by Lil Jon)
Ice Cube – Gangster Rap Made Me Do It (remix) feat. Scarface & Nas (prod. by Maestro)
Ghostface Killah – Be Easy (remix) feat. Ice Cube (prod. by Pete Rock)
After 35 years in the game Ice Cube still maintains relevancy in hip hop. His fans are eagerly awaiting for his new project Everythang’s Corrupt to drop. He will always be a fixture and synonymous with the West Coast movement. However you cannot overlook the fact that his versatility attributes to his greatness as exhibited with his ties and adaptability with the East Coast.