If you ask Mack 10, he'll tell you that the rap game is going right down the toilet.
He says it's getting too soft, with too many MCs more focused on professing their devotion to a girl than on ripping a track. So the mission for the newly reformed Westside Connection on their new LP, Terrorist Threats, is laid out: "We gotta bring hardcore hip-hop back," Mack said.
"We're the masters of gangsta rap," he assured recently on the Los Angeles set of Westside Connection's new video, "Lights Out." "The [rap game] got bitch made. Hip-hop done turned to R&B. You go to a show and can't get anybody out of their seats because all the songs are love songs. N---as ain't got time for that sh--. We need to get that gangsterism back. It's not the same."
Mack said fans can expect the same roughneck anthems and 'hood tales from Terrorists Threats that he, Ice Cube and W.C. delivered on the first Westside Connection LP, 1996's Bow Down. The new project is due in October, and they've already completed tracks with Sir Jinx, Megahertz and "21 Questions" producers Midi Mafia.
"We got a song called 'So Many Rappers in Love,' " 10 said. "Everybody is trying to please a [girl] on the radio now, huh? Nobody is making gangsta records no more? We got a song called 'Terrorist Threats' and 'Call 911.' It's that Westside Connection sh-- you like. When you hear it, you gonna be like, 'Them n---as is a--holes.' "
Aside from the content on their LP, 10 said he also anticipates that he Cube and Dub C may raise a few eyebrows with their album title, but he's not worried.
"It is what it is," he scoffed. "Terrorist Threats. Perfect timing. It brings shock value to it. ... I understand that. A n---a been catching terrorist threats in the 'hood forever. You tell [somebody] you gonna kill him or f--- him up, that's a terrorist threat. It ain't got nothing to do with the war. We didn't have to have no war for it to be a terrorist threat. I done had a couple of terrorist threat cases [in the 'hood]."
Although it's been seven years since the trio's first LP, Cube, Mack and W.C. have all remained tight and have collaborated on each other's solo projects. They had been thinking about realigning for a full project but were convinced after they received overwhelming fan support while headlining a recent Los Angeles Summer Jam concert.
"The last record sold 2 million records, and it's time to give it to them again," Mack explained. "Just like it took Dre 10 years to do a second Chronic album, it took us seven years to decide we wanted to do another album. Wasn't nobody starving; n---as been having money, so it wasn't about that."
While "Lights Out" will be featured on Terrorist Threats, first it'll be the lead single for Mack's compilation Ghetto, Gutter and Gangsta, due July 22. Mack released a DVD by the same name earlier this year.
"It's a house party," Mack explained of the concept for the Darren Grant-directed clip. "It's ghetto, gutter and gangsta. Lowriders, bitches and dogs. It's going down fo' sho."