There’s a meme you might have seen that suggests, somewhere along the way, the man born O’Shea Jackson changed.
First, you’re about to get the chance to decide that for yourself, because the rapper more commonly known as Ice Cube has announced a Lower Mainland show next year. Watch for his Straight Into Canada Tour to land at the Abbotsford Centre on February 20, 2024.
The question is, of course, what fans will get from the 54-year-old multimedia titan. And it’s a valid one.
You’ve probably seen the meme where panel one has an N.W.A-era Ice Cube in a Compton crib, AK-47 in his hands, Crips-blue bandanna on his head, and a perma-scowl on his face. Stamped on the photo are the words “AT FIRST I WAS LIKE”. Panel two has a grinning Ice Cube in an un-hood-like kayak holding a fishing pole, life jacket responsibly buckled up, the photo emblazoned with “BUT THEN I WAS LIKE”.
The implication? In case it’s not clear, think about Dr. Dre’s “Forgot About Dre”, and the lyrics “Now you wanna run around talkin’ ‘bout guns like I ain’t got none/What, you think I sold ‘em all/‘Cause I stay well off?/Now all I get is hate mail all day sayin’ Dre fell off.” Except sub in “Ice Cube” for “Dre”.
It wasn’t surprising that the Internet-meme generators of the world started making jokes about Ice Cube. When you go from an angry revolutionary responsible for N.W.A, Boys n the Hood, and an iconic solo career to a Hollywood star making family movies about beleaguered dads, you’re going to have haters. Even if those haters are unable to deny the insane badassery of Death Certificate, AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, and The Predator.
So what are you gonna get from Ice Cube in Abbotsford? In a perfect world, a setlist that starts with “Once Upon a Time in the Projects”, “It Was a Good Day”, “Steady Mobbin’”, “You Can Do It”, and “Check Yourself”. And if we get an impromptu versions of “Fuck Tha Police” and “Straight Outta Compton” as well, then consider that a sign there truly is a God. One who doesn’t care that, like Ice Cube in Are We There Yet?, you’re now at a point in your life when you can be like, “Um, I’m driving a mini-van.”
Where: Abbotsford Centre
When: February 20, 2024