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It was a family affair on the set of Ice Cube's video shoot for 'She Couldn't Make It on Her Own.' Cube commissioned his two sons, aspiring rappers OMG and Doughboy, to rhyme on the single and appear in the music video filmed in Hollywood earlier this month. The duo also appears on the track 'Y'all Know How I Am," while Doughboy -- his stage name an ode to his father's character in the 1992 film 'Boyz n The Hood' -- earns co-production credits on the song 'No Country for Young Men.'
For Cube, adding his sons to the credits of his new album, 'I Am the West,' was a privilege not a right. "I ain't giving no charities out. I take hip-hop seriously." Cube told The BoomBox of collaborating with his sons. "They're dope. The music is dope. It feels young, so it was only right. What's a trip is they just started asking for the keys to the studio. So I thought they were just going up there to hang out [but] they were going up there and working. It was cool that they took initiative. They're real b-boy's -- it ain't just daddy trying to push them into the family business. I'm the last one to do that."
The Bangladesh-produced track tells the story of a prostitute looking for a pimp because she can't bring home enough of bacon on her own. Keeping in line with the song's lighthearted nature, the Matt Alonzo-directed video plays along the same lines as the song's lyrics. Alonzo, whose resume includes videos for fellow West Coast rappers Game, The New Boyz and Ray-J, noted that he jumped at the opportunity to work with one of his childhood idols for not one, but three video shoots.
In the time since announcing his ninth studio album earlier this year, Cube ran into backlash from younger West Coast rappers who felt slammed by his comments that rap music from the region had been hindered by an industry only interested in mainstream appeal. To some, Cube only stirred the pot causing a greater rift between himself and a younger generation. The cocky album title 'I Am the West' also didn't help the situation. Yet, as an officiator who brought West Coast music to the mainstream with N.W.A. in the '90s and then later successfully as a solo artist, the title is well deserved. "When you look at Ice Cube you [are] looking at the West. I think I've been repping it forever. It is me. So, I mean, that's all I can really say. If it was a [West Coast rap] Mount Rushmore out here, I'd be on it."
Cube's career was one of the first in hip-hop's to transition from music to film. He first appeared in the John Singleton's 1992 drama 'Boyz n the Hood,' and has since appeared in over two dozen films. He also produces the TBS television show 'Are We There Yet,' a spin-off from his 2005 film of the same name. With all those projects on his place, the 41-year-old who famously declared 'F--- the Police!' as a member of N.W.A., is still just as passionate about his music as ever. "As an artist you just want to make people stop and think about the s--- you said every now and then," Cube says. "You might not like none of my s---, but one little rhyme caught you and made you think of something that planted a seed in you that grew and now you understand something you didn't understand. I think as an artist all you can do is make an impact like that."
'I Am the West' hits stores September 28.