"Look at me; I'm just doing my motherfuckin' thang!"
Ice Cube House of Blues March 2, 2011
We all know the drill: You attend a rap show, buy a few drinks, say hello to your cousin/co-worker/pastor who also bought tickets, and then proceed to sit through a slew of opening acts, until the headliner finally takes the stage two hours later than expected. Then you wait until the very end of the show for that rapper to drop his biggest hit, the one song you really came to hear that night.
Wednesday night at House of Blues was the exact opposite of that scenario.
The show began promptly at 9:15 p.m., which has to be some sort of world record for a rap concert. Ice Cube and his fellow Westside Connection homie WC (pronounced Dub-C) began the night strong with N.W.A.'s "Gangsta, Gangsta" and "Straight Outta Compton." Dressed in his signature black Dickies, Chuck Taylors, and fedora, Cube continues to embody the true reflection of a South Central gangsta.
The crowd was all his from the beginning, and even more so after playing "It Was a Good Day" early in the set. He recognized Houston as the "home of the real originators," and said there will always be a Texas-Cali connection in his book. The anthem "We Be Clubbin" sent the ladies into an ass-shakin' frenzy as Cube jumped around the stage with boatloads of energy, convincing us that he still has the same attitude that has driven him since the beginning.
There are only a handful of rappers that possess an arsenal of hits like the one Cube has as his disposal. Even fewer can claim to be successful over the span of two decades. But with every new family movie that he stars in, his chorus of skeptics grows louder. Can we still take him seriously after he has seemingly "sold out" to Hollywood?
Cube answered his critics Wednesday night by reminding us that yes, in fact, he "started this gangsta shit." He acknowledged that many people disapprove of him making those movies, and the same people ask him whether he likes music or acting better. He responded that he likes both, but he loves money more. He continued with these words of wisdom for the crowd:
"Every one of you has somebody in their life who tries to say something [negative] about how you livin', but you gotta live your own life. You only got one! Look at me; I'm just doing my motherfuckin' thang! Fuck what they lookin' at, do your thang, mang!"
The litany of hits continued for a respectable hour and 30 minutes: "Bow Down," "Gangsta Nation," You Can Do It (Put Your Ass Into It)" and "Natural Born Killaz" before he got into material from his current album I Am the West.
He brought out his sons OMG and Doughboy for the song "She Couldn't Make It On Her Own." Cube proclaimed them as the future, and joked that they will be pushing him around the stage in a wheelchair when he is 70 years old. Apparently, he is the type of rapper that was built to last.
Personal Bias: Cube is our favorite surviving member of N.W.A., and given that he wrote a bulk of the rhymes for Straight Outta Compton and Eazy-Duz-It, definitely the best rapper out of the bunch.
The Crowd: Old enough to have been in high school when Boyz N the Hood was released 20 years ago.
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Overheard in the Crowd: "Motherfucka, I know all your songs!" - female Ice Cube fan in the balcony, after Cube did the whole "Y'all may not know this next song" routine rappers tend to do before playing one of their most popular hits
Random Notebook Dump: A rapper can call a woman a "bitch" and get away with it. It's like a superpower or something...