Express & Star

Brum will experience West Coast rap in all its gangsta glory when Ice Cube, Cypress Hill and The Game roll into town

The "original gangster" who started one of the best selling genres of music ever is making a rare UK appearance next week.

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Ice Cube is coming to Birmingham

Ice Cube, who along with his friends and enemies in N.W.A, started gangster rap in 1989 and changed music forever, is bringing his High Rollers tour to Birmingham.

His was the voice first heard on the band's blistering introduction of a track Straight Out Of Compton which spawned countless harder, more reality based rap records. N.W.A had plenty to rage at in 1989 as they told the world about the police brutality meted in inner-city LA.

Just as Birmingham's Black Sabbath put a bit of mustard on Rock n Roll and switched the geographical direction towards the Midlands, inventing Heavy Metal, Ice Cube, Dr Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella as N.W.A created Gangsta Rap out of the West Coast away from Hip Hop's traditional home of New York.

And Ice Cube is bringing giant West Coast acts with him, instantly recognisable 90s outfit Cypress Hill and The Game will be performing at Resorts World on Wednesday, December 6.

Cypress Hill were 90s Hip Hop legends

N.W.A had one of the most public and acrimonious splits in music history, Ice Cube was the first to realise the band were being ripped off and left the band as they were on the precipice of world domination. What followed were some of the most crude and offensive records ever made as the two camps did their best to humiliate each other. They certainly took the message of their tune Express Yourself to the ninth degree.

Of the band who began Gangsta Rap, arguably the only gangster was Easy E, who had bank rolled the band with ill gotten gains, eventually saw Dr Dre leave the band all eyes were on who would have the best solo career.

Ice Cube's Death Certificate in 1991 and The Predator in 1992 sold in their millions.

And with the world's eyes unable to look away from Los Angeles, first with the Rodney King video, then the trial which saw LAPD officers cleared and subsequent riots, Ice Cube social commentary to banging beats made him a lightning rod culturally and musically, in his late teens and early 20s.

Interspersed throughout The Predator were soundbites from that year's Rodney King's trial and the riots, Cube used Hip Hop as a weapon for powerful social commentary, highlighting the injustices and societal stacked deck his community faced. But also on that album is Good Day, Hip Hops bitter sweet lament of enjoying a good day in the ghetto. Which for many years was this writers CD player alarm each morning.

A leading light in civil rights movement, co-authoring the Contract With Black America, Cube became a bankable Hollywood actor and a new generations of rappers followed through the door N.W.A kicked through. As life imitates art, 30 years on and gangsta rap can be heard in courtrooms as well as clubs as actual gangsters record songs detailing their killings and nefarious activities.

But, whatever Cube's subsequent successes off the mic, seeing him on stage will be a rare treat for West Midlands rap fans, who knows when or if he will return.

The High Rollers tour is Ice Cube's biggest to date and will be one of the most important music events of the year.

The Game will bring all his energy and will without doubt send Resorts World intergalactic when he drops Hate It Or Love It. The anthem which introduced The Game to the world, with the help of 50 Cent, and is a 00s classic.

Rap's MVP - The Game

And then Latino trailblazers Cypress Hill will give everyone permission to go Insane in the Brain.

And that will be before Ice Cube even steps on stage.

The Californian Triumvirate have sold close to 100 million albums between them and though the weather will be cold, the vibe will be about as West Coast as can be.

Tickets are still available for the High Rollers Tour, and for more information visit here.

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