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Ice Cube - OVO Hydro 5/12/2023

19 Dec 2023
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Ice Cube - OVO Hydro 5/12/2023

Ice Cubes return to Glasgow was worth the 30 year wait

Glasgow has enjoyed some of the greatest rappers of a generation visiting the city to perform live, legends such as Snoop Dogg, D12, Wu Tang Clan, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes all graced Scotlands premier venue, the OVO Hydro.

Now it was Ice Cubes turn to take the stage, bringing fellow legends Cypress Hill and D12 to the 15,000 capacity venue with him. It was Ice Cubes first performance in Scotland in almost 3 decades, his last gig in Glasgow was known for being infamous, notorious and the spot of a crime scene.


The concert was held at the OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton

It was in 1994 at the Barrowland Ballroom, where a crazed fan was able to pass security and enter the venue with a knife up his juke, 10 minutes into Cubes performance he fatally stabbed a fellow spectator in the chest. The incident took local news by storm and the media initially accused Ice Cube of influencing the murder due to his lyrics, which is mostly centered around violence, but Ice Cube and his band were cleared of any wrongdoing as the attack was seen by the police and detectives as "unprovoked", the murderer received a life sentence for the killing.

The murder left the rapper traumatised and vowed never to play in the country again, but almost 30 years later he announced his return to Glasgow, and anticipation for the gig was high.

The Game was the first support of the night but had to pull out at the last minute, "hes always involved with the government, OUR government, not yours." explains Ice Cube, but D12 quickly flew to the UK to take his place and they did not disappoint, delivering that perfect warm up like what they did when they supported Snoop Dogg back in March.


Ice Cube performing live, photo by Stewart Fullerton

After Cypress Hill performed their set it was time for Cube... he stormed onto the stage with an unapologetic presence, radiating the same charisma and intensity that has defined his career for decades, predicably beginning the show with "Hello".

The setlist was a masterful blend of classic hits and newer tracks, showcasing Cubes evolution while paying homage to his roots, with iconic anthems like "Check Yo Self", "You Know How We Do It", "Wicked" and "It Was a Good Day" and more modern tracks like "Hello", "You Can Do It" and "Aint Got No Haters". Cube performed a few N.W.A tracks where his career as a rapper began, with classics like "Straight Outta Compton" and "Gangsta Gangsta".


Ice Cube performing live, photo by Stewart Fullerton

It showcased Cubes ability to balance social consciousness with a party-ready vibe, proving that his music remains as relevant and powerful as ever, the bass reverberated through the venue, there were hands going up and down in the audience throughout the performance and the beats hit with precision, proving that Cubes musical prowess has only deepened with time.

Cube also explained the background to one of his best known songs, "No Vaseline", it was a response to the "dissing" he was getting by N.W.A after he departed the group, he regards No Vaseline as "the greatest dissing song ever written", despite the conflict that let to his departure of the band, Cube said that he still loved his homies. "I love Dre, I love Ren, I love Prince, I love Yella, I love Eazy-E may he rest in peace!".

The concert reached its peak when Cube closed the set with the anthemic "Today Was a Good Day," leaving the crowd buzzing with excitement and satisfaction. The applause that followed was thunderous, a testament to the enduring legacy of one of hip-hops true pioneers.


The audience at OVO Hydro, photo by Stewart Fullerton

Unfortuately there were arrests at the show, mostly due to breach of the peace, but that did not derail the Ice Cube juggernaut, his return to Glasgow was worth the 30 year wait, a testament to his status as a hip-hop icon. The night was a perfect blend of nostalgia, social commentary, and unfiltered energy, leaving the audience with a profound appreciation for the enduring impact of Ice Cubes music on the cultural landscape.

 

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Review - Ice Cube - OVO Hydro 5/12/2023 - Glasgowmusic.co.uk