August 16, 2008

Ice Cube

Rapper Ice Cube says his former band, N.W.A., "changed the rules" of the hip-hop and rap music scene in the United States 20 years ago.

The rapper, whose real name is O'Shea Jackson, said when the band released its most famous album, "Straight Outta Compton," in 1988, it helped change how rap music was seen nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

"That music is still echoing, which nobody could have predicted. That's what I'm proudest of, the impact that we had. N.W.A changed the rules," Jackson said.

Jackson added that thanks to the group's brash and controversial manner, N.W.A. helped usher in a new brand of entertainers who could just "be themselves."

"I'm proudest of the impact of the record," he told the Times. "The thing that people don't talk about, really, is that it opened artists up to being themselves in a lot of ways. They didn't have to try to figure out what to do or be to become stars, they could just be themselves."

In addition to Jackson, N.W.A. included other notable rappers such as Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella, Arabian Prince and The D.O.C.