Lengendary West Coast rapper Ice Cube has been all over the news recently for a couple of reasons: One, because he’s been going back and forth with Gene Simmons regarding N.W.A.’s recent induction in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. According to Simmons, Rap as a genre has no place in a museum devoted to rock music; according to Cube, he’s just plain wrong. Why anyone would want to go toe-to-toe against Ice Cube seems a risky endeavor, nonetheless the two have been duking it out for some time now.
The other, more important reason Cube has been in the public eye is because he’s been hinting at an N.W.A reunion for his big performance at Coachella 2016 in Indio, Calif. “I’ve got some tricks up my sleeves,” the rapper told “The Talk” last week while promoting his new film “Ride Along 2.” “I’m gonna try to bring the members of N.W.A together. Give everybody a little history lesson on Ice Cube and N.W.A, West Side Connection, everything I’ve been doing over the years.”
Well, last night it happened and it didn’t disappoint. His guest-heavy, career-spanning set — which included cameos by the legendary Snoop Dogg, Common, DJ Yella and MC Ren — will likely go down as one of those Coachella moments that music aficionados will talk about for years.
Hitting the stage in a throne made to look like the “Westside” hand sign, Cube opened his set with “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It,” which had the crowd bouncing up and down in a fit of euphoria, reciting every lyric from the song. It was followed quickly by the highlight of the show, which was the N.W.A. semi-reunion with both DJ Yella and MC Ren on “Straight Outta Compton” and “F*ck Tha Police.” Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. — who played his father in the band biopic — made an impressive cameo on “Dopeman,” proving the old adage that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It will be interesting to see if he follows in his father’s footsteps or focuses more on a movie career, as he proved tonight to have the talent to do both equally well.
Common joined Cube on “Real People” and Snoop Dogg on “Go to Church” before finishing things off with “The Next Episode.” Cube’s set closed with “It Was A Good Day” and although it definitely was a good day at Coachella, one couldn’t help but wish the rumored Dr. Dre cameo and Eazy-E hologram had made appearances, which would have brought the whole house down. Had one or both turned up, it would have moved the needle from simply a good day to an amazing and unforgettable evening.
Ice Cube Coachella Set List
Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It
Natural Born Killaz
Why We Thugs
Check Yo’ Self
Straight Outta Compton (with MC Ren and DJ Yella)
Dopeman (with MC Ren and Ice Cube’s son)
F*ck tha Police (with MC Ren)
Real People (with Common)
You Can Do It
We Be Clubbin’
Go To Church (with Snoop Dogg)
The Next Episode (Performed by Snoop Dogg)
It Was a Good Day