In Honor of Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur & Kendrick Lamar’s Birthdays, We’re Paying Tribute To These West Coast Pioneers

Posted on June 16th, 2018
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West Coast hip-hop is sometimes disparaged by hip-hop purists for it’s perceived lack of lyricism and substance, but what it lacks in lyrical acrobatics and “message,” it more than makes up for in personality. Throughout the years, we’ve had our very own share of California natives to remind us that West Coast hip-hop is very much alive and that the sentiment comes through just as powerful as any other region.

With that said, the month of June has a golden week for West Coast as three of its greatest emcees of all time celebrate birthdays.

Ice Cube celebrated 49-years-old yesterday (June 15), the late-great Tupac Shakur would of turned 47 today (June 16), and Compton’s very own Kendrick Lamar will turn 31 on Sunday, June 17.

So what exactly does Ice Cube, Tupac and Kendrick, have in common? EVERYTHING! From their lyrics to taking a stand in social justice, they have played a huge role in hip-hop over all. In honor of their birthdays, I’ve taken the time to celebrate these pioneers in hip-hop.

As a former N.W.A. member, Ice Cube has since moved on to create solo albums, produce records and movies and act in many films. TheĀ Gangsta RapĀ vocalist become one of the most famous and popular members of the rap community and has been dubbed as one of the greatest MC’s of all time. Cube is noted as one of the best lyricist and storytellers of the 90s and is regarded as a brutally honest rapper with his lyrics often insinuating a political stance on violence and aggression. Even to this day, he continuously delivers unparalleled raps and is without a doubt one of the founding fathers of gangsta rap.

While Tu Pac‘s life was cut short at the young age of 25, the All Eyez On Me lyricist proved to have been paving the way in the early 90s. Pac achieved great heights in his career that make him one of the most commendable artists of all times. Most of his songs send out a social message. He was greatly concerned with the social problems faced by the Afro-American community such as violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, conflicts with other rappers, social injustice, and poverty and police brutality.

Since King Kendrick Lamar stepped into the music sense, the To Pimp A Butterfly emcee has taken the genre by storm and especially after a brilliant debut album, a world-shattering verse on “Control,” and dozens of guest spots. Lamar has inherited the West Coast throne. Who can forget his powerful and eye-opening Grammy’s performance or when K Dot became the first rapper to win a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year.

Like Ice Cube and Tupac, K Dot uses his music to share his prospective of political messages and the struggles in life.

These West Coast veterans have been and continue to be a prime staple for the golden state. Happy Birthday Ice Cube, Tupac, and Kendrick Lamar!

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