Ice Cube Laugh Now, Cry Later

It would be far too pedestrian to rag on Ice Cube’s seemingly incongruous duality: revolutionising the rap game on one hand, starring in G-rated flicks on another. What I do find amusing is Ice Cube’s puffed-up attempts to prove he’s still hard. Do your thing man — I’m not going to fault you for living the "American dream.” What I can take issue with, in general, is uninspired hip-hop that feels more like fulfilling contract obligations than anything. This brings us to Laugh Now, Cry Later, a 17-track attempt to resurrect the old school Cube — the one that had college kids living vicariously though, claiming they now know all about "the struggle.” Considering this is Cube’s first new album in years, he almost succeeds, showing that his inimitably adept rhyming style is still intact Trouble is, I’m not really down with producers like Scott Scorch, Swizz Beatz or Lil Jon, or so-called comedian Mike Epps being all up on the album. But I’m (sort of) down with old school-flavoured joints like "Why We Thugs,” "Growin’ Up” and "Go To Church (featuring Snoop Dogg & Lil Jon). Most of all, I’m digging "Child Support,” which sees Cube rip on the current hip-hop "gangstas” and bolster his legacy in the game. Not a classic by any means, but definitely one of Cube’s better outings. (EMI)