A transatlantic fusion of culture.
Despite some claiming time travel is a myth, Ice Cube‘s ‘High Rollers’ tour just may prove otherwise. A visceral journey through the heart of gangsta rap in the 1980s and 1990s, Ice Cube’s iconic cluster of classics everywhere, transforming the Motorpoint Arena into a time capsule. As a result, we were reminded of why the Cali-native is so revered; considered as one of the most influential artists the world has ever seen.
Upon entry, the crowd’s energy reverberated throughout the arena with a palpable sense of nostalgia. It was a night of celebration from the very beginning. First to take the stage was Detroit-native Obie Trice, who was swiftly followed by 90’s hip-hop group Cypress Hill (best known for their lazily menacing tracks and ear-splitting rhymes). Hitting the audience like a tidal wave of West Coast authenticity, you couldn’t help but feel invigorated by the pounding bass and sweltering smoke clouds that engulfed you within. Not to mention, particularly during tracks “I Wanna Get High”, “Latin Lingo” and the kaleidoscopic “Insane in the Brain”.
With his commanding presence, there was no wonder Ice Cube followed suit, taking the stage like a lyrical maestro, and radiating raw energy that continued to resonate throughout. “Can he still get on the mic and do what you like? The rapper asks [perhaps rhetorically], later emphasisng that there was actually a method to his madness.Whether spitting verses on Check Yo Self, You Know How We Do It or Why We Thugs (alongside fellow Westside Connection MC WC), each lyric was delivered with an echoing swagger.
The stage formed as a canvas for his storytelling, and the energy charged by the universal love of rap was a reflection of his mastery of hip-hop. From NWA classics to socio-political statements in his solo material, Ice Cube’s presence remains undeniable and transcends generations to come. As the ‘High Rollers’ showcased the breadth of his career, it was just the cherry on top that proved there’s no one quite like Ice Cube.
Check out snippets captured by Martin Makowski below.
PHOTO CREDIT: Martin Makowski