Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ice Cube Effect: Raw Footage

Release date: August 19, 2008

1. "What Is A Pyroclastic Flow?"

2. "I Got My Locs On"
Featuring Young Jeezy
Produced By PhO

Of all the ways to start this album, we get this. It was more out of the Jeezy playbook than anything else, and Cube adopting that "trap sound" did him no favors. Others may like this a little more than I do, which is fine, but this was a weak opener.
*2 out of 5*

3. "It Takes A Nation"
Produced By Emile

An ok song for the most part, but it's nothing we haven't heard done before and better.
*3 out of 5*

4. "Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It"
Produced By Maestro

This apply titled banger is vintage Cube, complete with a true West Coast vibe throughout.
*4 out of 5*

5. "Hood Mentality"
Produced By Teak "Da Beatsmith" Underdue and Dee Underdue

"If you don't wanna shake that hood mentality/How the fuck we supposed to change our reality?"

That hook sums up this good song in a nutshell. Even at this point in 2008, we were still dealing with the negativity impacting our communities.
*4 out of 5*

6. "Why Me?"
Featuring Musiq Soulchild
Produced By Teak "Da Beatsmith" Underdue and Dee Underdue

This was another pretty good song, featuring some thought provoking lyrics from Cube, a nice Musiq Soulchild led hook, and a damn good beat by the Underdues.
*4 out of 5*

7. "Cold Places"
Produced By Teak "Da Beatsmith" Underdue and Dee Underdue

ANOTHER pretty good song here, which finds Cube notably calling out the government for how they mishandled Hurricane Katrina and how "the penitentiary is a billion industry." Quite frankly, we don't hear songs like this anymore talking about important issues of the day.
*4 out of 5*

8. "Jack In The Box"
Produced By Tha Bizness

 Cube is definitely "braggin' a lot" on this one. Lyrically it's not too bad, but Bizness' beat is a little busy to these ears.
*3 out of 5*

9. "Do Ya Thang"
Produced By Palumbo Beats

This was ok, nothing more or less. Let's continue on.
*3 out of 5*

10. "Thank God"
Produced By Teak "Da Beatsmith" Underdue and Dee Underdue

This is not a great song by any means, but it would've served as a slightly better opener than "I Got My Locs On."
*3 out of 5*

11. "Here He Come" 
Featuring Doughboy
Produced By Symphony

While not quite a showcase for one of Cube's sons, Doughboy, this was still decent.
*3 out of 5*

12. "Get Money, Spend Money, No Money"
Produced By Emile

I simply didn't care too much for this one. Again, it's not a bad song, just forgettable and nothing we haven't heard before and done better may I add.
*2 out of 5*

13. "Get Use To It"
Featuring The Game and WC
Produced By Augustine Sumo "Embeatz"

The West Coast is here to stay, no doubt. This was dope and I can't help but call attention to a still motivated Game at this point, and with him admitting around this time that Cube was his favorite rapper, the motivation is clear.
*4 out of 5*

14. "Tomorrow"
Produced By Warryn "Baby Dubb" Campbell

Don't worry about tomorrow, focus on today. That's one of the things I gathered from this one.
*3 out of 5*

15. "Stand Tall"
Produced By DJ Crazytoones and Dave "DizMix" Lopez

Another apply titled song here, focusing on a few key things: hope and of course standing tall.
*4 out of 5*

16. "Take Me Away"
Featuring Butch Cassidy
Produced By Young Fekus and DJay Cas

An ok song, but I feel this closes the album on a true anti-climatic note.
*3 out of 5*

Well, I can honestly now see why it was a LONG time since I played this album. In fact, I remember ordering it in the early part of 2009, I listened to it once, and hadn't bumped it since (until this post that is). This album was clearly not close to "Laugh Now Cry Later" before it, plus off and on it really sounded like Cube was going through the motions more often than not. It's not great, it's not wack, but it's RIGHT there in the middle. I don't know what I was thinking giving this 4 stars, because this is a 3.5 star album at best, and even that may be a little generous. It also goes without saying that this album was practically on no one's radar in 2008, as only the long time/die hard Cube fans knew of its existence. Much like the "War & Peace" set, this will not receive another revisit any time soon.

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