Ice Cube Brings the Heat to The Mission Ballroom

Ice Cube mean mugs the crowd

Fans anxiously awaited their “invitation to the Gangsta Nation” Friday night from the emcee who popularized gangsta rap. Fiery visuals set the mood after an opening set from rapper Westside Boogie (real name Anthony Tremaine Dixson). A haze filled the audience as Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson Sr.) stepped onto the Mission Ballroom floor with a surprise guest. 

Ice Cube took the stage and extended his own invitation to long-time friend and collaborator WC (real name William LaShawn Calhoun Jr). Hyping up the crowd, they celebrated their Denver fan base. This was Ice Cube’s second Colorado stop during his 2023 tour, one day after the 4/20 holiday.

WC Mission Ballroom Ice Cube
Special guest WC takes the mic.

The two artists previously formed the supergroup Westside Connection with Mac 10 (real name Dedrick D’Mon Rolison). Westside Connection made a major footprint in the hip-hop community during the ’90s to early 2000s. The emcees paid tribute to the rap collective, reciting “The Pledge” from their platinum ’96 album Bow Down, in addition to its famous title track.

Ice Cube Mission Ballroom
Ice Cube keeps it gangsta with the crowd at the Mission Ballroom.

Vivid graphics captured the attention of the audience and raised the bar from the typical hip-hop set. Animations with images of Ice Cube, clips from Friday, music videos, and trippy visuals complemented the energy of his performance. The crowd enthusiastically threw their Ws up for the duo.

Westside Connection Mission Ballroom Ice Cube
The sold-out Mission Ballroom shows their love for the Westside.

The shoulder-to-shoulder crowd echoed lyrics and bounced to the beat of classic songs. Between “Gangsta Nation” and “Straight Outta Compton,” Ice Cube delivered something for everyone. The emcee kept it old school while showcasing some fancy footwork.

Filling the sold-out ballroom with infectious beats, Ice Cube gave hip-hop heads exactly what they needed. He wasn’t afraid to get down with the crowd, or get high! They brought the heat to an otherwise frigid night. Fans could all agree, “It Was a Good Day.”

 

Love, Nostalgia and Homage: The ’90s Onward with Ice Cube at Broadmoor World Arena

Ice Cube at Broadmoor Arena in Colorado Springs

There are few who know rap and hip-hop as well as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time: Ice Cube. Cube (aka O’Shea Jackson Sr.) is known not only in rap (N.W.A. and solo) but also in film and television (Lethal Injection, Boyz n the Hood, the Friday series).

Since Cube’s solo debut in 1990, the last 30+ years have been prosperous for the legend and the friends he has made along the way. With that friendship close in mind, the tributes every performer made at Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado kept the crowd jiving.

Icons and Legends

In his early teens, Ice Cube took an interest in music and began writing lyrics on his own, selling his first song to Eazy-E. Together with Dr. Dre they would help found N.W.A. 30 years have passed by, and still going strong, Ice Cube and friends pay tribute to past legends now resting in paradise.

All acts spoke about gangsta rap in its beginning and its evolution into widespread acceptance today. Never forgetting where everything started, Ice Cube has consistently proven that his roots are more than just solid. The progression of success between rap groups with which he’s been involved means the sky is the limit for his latest collaboration project known as Mount Westmore. The group only has one album out so far, with a small handful of singles on the side.

Honoring Roots

Each of the performances at Broadmoor was high in energy, leaving bodies bumping to the groove when given room. The first man onstage for the night of hype was Westside Boogie. Throwing in his own remixes and shout-outs to legends like Biggie and Eazy (a recurring theme through the night), he brought the energy to the stage and got us ready for the next big act. In between songs, he even brought a fan up onstage for a quick burst of freestyle.

We were hyped from the start of the show, and then Bone Thugs-n-Harmony took the reigns. They hit hard with their signature chopper rap. The night continued with the crowd swaying, screaming, and the crowd throwing up Ws. People made friends with the strangers beside them, rapping in time with the main acts.

Like a moth to a flame, Ice Cube came on stage and showed us who started the game. He performed tracks like “No Vaseline,” and even explained some of the history behind some of them. He delved into his personal history with Dre and Eazy with no negativity. Cube spoke of where he got his start and held a smile the whole night. Homage was paid to Eazy, Biggie, 2Pac, and all other greats lost over the years — but never forgotten. To wrap the whole show up, Ice Cube checked and made sure “Today Was a Good Day.”

Timeless Ice Cube

Ice Cube may always focus his own solo act, but it won’t be entirely exclusive. He’s currently headed on tour with the rest of the members from Mount Westmore, a rap supergroup formed in 2020. With no plans to stop any time soon, Ice Cube continues to be a creative powerhouse in his home genre.

Cube is a great example of the adage “if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life.” At the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, he showed his love for the fans and gangsta rap itself.

Photos by Kyle Brim

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