Were trying to create a worldwide Westside, declares the snarling gent who calls himself Gangsta, as big ol dudes whisper into his ear and hand him incoming cell-phone calls. Meanwhile, the Killa, devouring his room-service grub, gives off menacing looks, and the Dope Dealer puffs away on fat Cuban cigars. Were in the penthouse of the W Hotel, but this isnt a mob meeting; the organized family is Ice Cube, WC and Mack 10, collectively known as Westside Connection.
Seven years after 1996s double-platinum Bow Down, the Dub-S-C are back to re-establish the West Coast as the capital of hardcore gangsta rap with their new Terrorist Threats.
The gangsta rap that we put is a threat, says former N.W.A member Ice Cube. We delivering a threat. Just check out the opening cut, Call 9-1-1, as WC lays it down: The industry most hated/Nigga get at us, were ready/Dub, Mack and Cube, like Saddam, Bin Laden and O.J. in a Chevy/Back again, mama, there go that man again/Grab the gun, them niggas own one/Call 9-1-1. Dial it up, cause from the first to the 14th cut, this album will strike fear.
Bow Down had so much venom on it. It was really directed at [New York detractors]. It was a laser-guided missile that hit its target and devastated its target, says Ice Cube. Terrorist Threats is like a cluster bomb. Its not really directed at one thing, its directed at a lot of different things.
First bomb-boom: Samuel L. Jackson and Jesse Jackson. On Lights Out, featuring a catchy hook by KnocTurn Al, Ice Cube chin-checks: So you can tell Samuel L. Im-a keep acting/You can even tell that muthafucka Jesse Jackson/Pay your child support/Keep your payments up/Put a rubber on/And dont fuck with us. Samuel made some comments, says Ice Cube, that rappers shouldnt act, and Jesse dissed my movie Barbershop in the paper, and so I didnt want to diss him in his arena. I brought it to my arena, wax.
Second bomb-boom: So Many Rappers in Love, where Mack 10 spits: If it aint rough it aint me/And I refuse to turn R-A-P into R&B. He amplifies, You dont know the difference when a song comes out on the radio, if its an R&B song with a rap on there, or a rap with an R&B singer on there.
Third bomb-boom: 50 Centlike rappers who get radio play because they glorify being shot. On Superstar (Double Murder = Double Platinum), WC raps: Bullet holes and record sales go together/Like cops and radar/Ask your A&R. Were just throwin it out there, state the terrorist trio, overlapping one another. We figure we throw a rock in a pack of dogs, the one that hollers is the one that got hit. But nobody wants beef with us. We couldnt buy beef if we wanted to.
Two groups Westside Connection dont have beef with are the Bloods and the Crips. On Terrorist Threats bass-bumping, organ-driven lead single, Gangsta Nation (featuring Nate Dogg and produced by Fredwreck), Mack 10 flares: The whole world is influenced by the B and the C/Now tell the truth rappers you dont ball like me/Cause Im really from a gang and yall industry. As Ice Cube puts it: They love us because we represent both sides. Showing Mack, Dub and me working together, knowing that we all come from different sides of the track, its a big-ass example.
Another group the Connection connects with is Mexicans. On Lights Out, WC claims, We chop dollars with those in sombreros. We do anything we can, says Ice Cube, to promote black and brown unity. We the same people, most of the time living under the same conditions. Theres a lot of division out there. Its a common enemy. We all need to unify to overcome poverty and life in the ghetto. Why make a bad situation worse, when we can work together and come up?
Coming up and unifying the West Coast is a big task even for the Dub-S-C. When you come from the West Coast, its an uphill battle in this hip-hop game, I dont care how big you are, says Ice Cube. But we represent the Westside, the West Coast, to the fullest. It aint no mistaking it, we look it, talk it, dress it, represent it. Its no secret, we came back to represent the Dub.
WESTSIDE CONNECTION | Terrorist Threats (Priority)